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REVIEW: London Grammar’s third album is the perfect addition to your summer playlist

The alternative band London Grammar released their third album “Californian Soil” Friday. This work comes four years after their previous album “Truth Is a Beautiful Thing (Deluxe),” released in 2017.

californian soil by london grammar on spotify
“Californian Soil” by London Grammar. The album, released Friday, features more instrumental and orchestral elements than the band’s previous records, conveying an indie-pop feel perfect for the summer. ILLUSTRATION BY HANNAH YOSHINAGA/ DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

“Californian Soil,” about 45 minutes long, contains 12 tracks that have a greater orchestral presence and instrumental sound than the band’s previous albums.

“Truth Is a Beautiful Thing” has a more somber sound than the new release. In contrast, the new album showcases the band’s evolution into a sound that has clearly been years in the making.

The album begins with the track “Intro” — a song devoid of lyrics but full of cinematic-like instrumentals. This artistic choice makes the album feel like you have to listen to the songs in sequential order, which I find different from other London Grammar albums.

While this opening track does set a precedent for the rest of the album, it does seem to be the odd one out. If a someone was to listen to the album on shuffle, it may cause some confusion.

Though the remaining 11 songs contain lyrics, they maintain the same chill but mysterious feel as “Intro.”

The first song that stuck out to me was halfway through the album: track six, titled “How Does It Feel.” The track’s indie-pop vibes are perfect for a summer drive with the windows down. As such, it’s the perfect spring release.

The song touches on the feeling of being alone after someone leaves your life, which evokes emotions most people are all too familiar with and leaves listeners with that painful, reminiscent memory.

“Baby It’s You” also shone as a clear favorite of mine — with syncopated electro-pop vibes evoking an emotion starkly in contrast to “How Does It Feel,” this song feels like the end of a movie when everything falls into place.

Here, London Grammar discusses how nothing else matters besides the subject of the music. I tend to be drawn to songs that resonate with an emotion, and “Baby It’s You” does just that, while also providing a great beat below the lyrics.

In addition to its indie-pop flair, the “Californian Soil” album does at times make me feel like I’m sitting in church due to the quieter background beats and subdued mood, which is evident in the song “Talking.” The lyrics of this track, as well as its composition as a whole, seem to be more fitting for a religious congregation as opposed to a casual listen.

Overall, this album is the start of a new sound for London Grammar and one I hope they continue to produce and expand upon. This album also has the potential to grow the band’s audience because of its unique and well-curated sound.

The album is soaring toward No. 1 in the United Kingdom in well-deserved success and is worthy of a listen.






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