London Grammar performing in St. Petersburg in July 2017
London Grammar are an English indie pop band from Nottingham, formed in 2009. The band consists of Hannah Reid, Dan Rothman and Dominic 'Dot' Major. Their debut extended play, Metal & Dust, was released in February 2013 by Metal & Dust Recordings, while their debut album, If You Wait, was released in September 2013. The album reached number two on the UK Albums Chart and was certified double platinum by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). The band's second studio album, Truth Is a Beautiful Thing, was released in June 2017, peaking at number one on the UK Albums Chart.
2009–2012: Early career
Vocalist Hannah Reid and guitarist Dan Rothman are originally from London and met in the Ancaster Hall of residence at the University of Nottingham during their first year in 2009. Rothman saw that Reid played the guitar and contacted her to see if she wanted to collaborate. They were joined by Northampton native Dominic 'Dot' Major (keyboard, djembe, drums) a year later, after he began playing music together with Rothman. They chose the name as "not only was it where we're from, but London is also so international and multicultural that it actually felt like quite a universal name in a way."
After completing their studies in the middle of 2011, the trio moved down to London to pursue a career in music. By the end of the year they were managed by Conor Wheeler who began promoting them. The band began by playing low-key gigs at local bars, honing their material. They soon found themselves noticed by a number of A&R people, and they were signed with the Ministry of Sound while Big Life took over the management duties in the second half of 2012. In the same year the trio did some early recordings with Rollo Armstrong of Faithless and Liam Howe of Sneaker Pimps. Later in the year, the band continued to work with Tim Bran of Dreadzone and Roy Kerr, and by the end of the year most of the recording had been completed. On 12 December 2012, the trio posted their song "Hey Now" on YouTube; it immediately received a large amount of attention.
2013–2016: If You Wait
Their EP Metal & Dust followed in February 2013, and it made the top five of the iTunes chart in Australia. It created a lot of interest, and the band received significant airplay on national radio. They released their single "Wasting My Young Years" in June 2013, peaking at number 31 on the UK Singles Chart. The band also featured on Disclosure's album Settle with the track "Help Me Lose My Mind", released in June 2013. The band has recorded two live sessions for Radio 1, and they played at ten summer 2013 European music festivals. In September 2013, Reid was the subject of a Radio 1 Breakfast Show Twitter post, which was criticised for being sexist. The backlash forced the corporation to apologise, while the trio "decided to stay out of it".
On 1 September 2013, they released "Strong", which peaked at number 16 on the UK Singles Chart. The song was later used in the 2014 American TV series "Reckless" for its second episode, "Parting Shots". On 9 September 2013, they released their debut studio album If You Wait, which peaked at number two on the UK Albums Chart. It also peaked at number two on the Australian Albums Chart, number 11 on the French Albums Chart, number 13 on the Irish Albums Chart, and number 22 on the New Zealand Albums Chart. The band is signed to Columbia Records in the United States. On 8 December 2013, a single for the album, "Nightcall" was released. Their cover was used again for the "Reckless" show in its last episode "Civil Wars Part 2".
On 13 January 2014, the band performed "Strong" and "Wasting My Young Years" on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, marking their debut performance on American television. On 1 April 2014, the Official Charts Company announced that London Grammar's If You Wait was the fifth top-selling album of 2014 so far, with sales of over 138,000 copies (356,000 total). London Grammar won an Ivor Novello Award in the Best Song Musically and Lyrically category for "Strong". And later in 2014 they won two awards, "Independent Breakthrough of The Year" and "PPL Award For Most Played New Independent Act", at the AIM Independent Music Awards.
2017–present: Truth Is a Beautiful Thing
On 1 January 2017, London Grammar shared their new single "Rooting For You", marking the group’s first new music since their debut album in 2013. On 1 February 2017, they shared the second single "Big Picture" via their Facebook page. They sang Big Picture during their performance on Later with Jools Holland.
London Grammar's music has been described as "a blend of ambient, ethereal and classical sounds" with melancholy guitar, soaring vocals, and plaintive lyrics. Hannah Reid's powerful, haunting vocals, prominent on all of London Grammar's tracks released to date, are often compared to those of Judie Tzuke and Florence Welch. The songs are a collaborative effort as Reid explains: "I write the lyrics and the top lines. But the songs initiate from all three of us. Dot will write a piano part or a music score. Dan will add some guitars." She describes the songs as "emotionally affected" and said that she "writes about people who come in and out of my life."
Hannah Reid was born on 30 December 1989. She is the lead singer and songwriter of London Grammar. Reid grew up in Acton, and went to school in West London. She had classical vocal training. She wanted to pursue psychoanalysis as a career and worked as a hairdresser and in a bar before going to University. She was initially planning to pursue acting after earning a drama scholarship. Reid was studying Art History and English at University Nottingham when she started the band. She met London Grammar guitarist Dan Rothman in a residence hall at the University of Nottingham in 2009. After seeing her playing the guitar, he sent her a Facebook message inviting Reid to form a band. Her battle with stage fright has been widely reported; in an interview she said about being on stage “(...)sometimes the nerves don’t lift at all, and I just feel horrible, and panicky throughout.” To help combat this phobia, she started practicing Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). She is gluten-intolerant, and in addition to avoiding certain foods, she also avoids drinking alcohol. She was caught in the middle of a Twitter polemic after Radio 1 Breakfast Show sent out a sexist Tweet about her appearance. Reid is also known for her expansive vocal range and emotive contralto voice.
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