Mysterious, insightful, and all kinds of great.
As gripping and subtle as ever, London Grammar is back with a new record (Truth Is a Beautiful Thing) in June, and its fourth single is a stunning display of their known strengths: Hannah Reid’s haunting voice (which is one of the most distinguishable in the industry), discrete keys, soothing guitar, and nuanced lyrics that effortlessly blend into one another. It feels, however, that it taps into a bigger picture, adding something more to this combination: a teaspoon of mystery, an exotic new spice.
As a supposedly devoted student of English, I think lyrics are oh-so-great, and in this respect ‘Oh Woman Oh Man’ exceeds expectations. Although at first it feels like it’s going to be another song about lost love – they somehow never get old – the chorus and ending bring a new depth and send to a lot of unanswered questions, emphasised by the guitar chords (“Oh woman oh man / Choose a path for a child / Great mirrored plans / Oh woman oh man / Take a devil by the hands to yellow sands / Woman choose your man / Do you really understand?”).
As is the usual case with good lyrics, I don’t think I truly, really understand. Marriage? Parenting? Life? ‘Oh Woman Oh Man’ has me on a beach, looking at the waves and thinking about the big decisions that, one way or another, we need to make at some point. If there is a calm, thoughtful way of thinking about all these, London Grammar has found it. It’s not pressuring. It’s not an annoying reminder of the ways human life should work. They spark some mystery with it, making these decisions sound difficult and adventurous at the same time. That’s the kind of approach I’m completely on board with.
‘Oh Woman Oh Man’ is out now via Ministry Of Sound and Metal & Dust