If You Wait
Inspired by ambient dubstep and acts such as Everything But the Girl and Portishead, London Grammar's If You Wait is white-hot, a melancholy triumph of mood and nuance. With mournful pianos and jazzy breakbeats, soaring strings, and delicate guitars—all of it anchored by Hannah Reid's freight train of a voice—the album handily transcends easy comparisons to groups like The xx and Florence + The Machine. "Wasting My Young Years" sets Reid's wistful regrets against a backdrop of pianos and a shuffling house beat, while "Metal & Dust" incorporates a slinking garage rhythm. Then there are songs like "Strong," the sonics of which (pianos, guitars, a distant beat) mostly just smolder under Reid's colossal cooing.