It’s somehow apt that in the year Twin Peaks returns, one of the biggest albums of 2017 is likely to be this dream-pop delight from London Grammar. Taking on the noir-ish, dark feel of David Lynch’s favourite artists, from This Mortal Coil to Julee Cruise, the British trio’s second album is a more cinematic, expansive listen even than their huge debut, 2013’s If You Wait.
With their first album racking up almost a million sales so far, Truth Is A Beautiful Thing largely continues in the same vein, however, with the majority of the 11 tracks here being mid-paced, echoey and melancholy, the electronic textures, pianos and guitars led by Hannah Reid’s sultry voice, deep, rich and enveloping.
There are plenty of standouts, aside from the bewitching singles Oh Woman Oh Man and Rooting For You: the penultimate Leave The War, driven by Dominic ‘Dot’ Major’s doomy, clashing piano chords, busy percussion and jazzy ride cymbals, is like Radiohead covering Madonna’s Frozen, while Everybody Else begins with prepared piano before it ascends on an electronic Afrobeat rhythm and shards of highlife guitar courtesy of Dan Rothman. Meanwhile, the more propulsive Non Believer has a minor-key earworm of a chorus, like prime Annie Lennox trying out ’90s trip-hop.
Truth Is A Beautiful Thing ends with the title track, a stately piano ballad enriched, in the finest dream-pop tradition, with eerie, detuned guitar notes and amniotic ambient drones. Fans of both Adele and James Blake might find something to hold on to here; like much of London Grammar’s second album, this is music that’s experimental and universal all at the same time.