Californian Soil is the second single off London Grammar’s new album of the same name – they have called it “a turning point.”
Neat bedroom poppy guitar over a cooling reverbed vocal opens the song before the bass and drums bring the flesh. Their propensity for building up a song is matched perhaps only by some of Foals’ most prolific lengthy numbers.
Then comes the punch: a concerto of silky strings. When it reaches its totality, it is a wonderfully orchestral work, a soaring tune of defiance in the face of primitive attitudes; it’s no secret that lead singer Hannah Reid has been subjected to them in her career.
Hannah’s voice is Hannah’s voice; there’s nothing more I can say can elevate it to any station it has not already reached.
It is a very different vibe to Baby It’s You, their first single, which is a little more suitable for a dance, whilst this one has a slower, more swoony flow. But who wants the same song twice, eh?
In a statement announcing the album, Reid acknowledged the help given to her by her bandmates, Dot and Dan, in her experiences of misogyny. They lend her mountains of support here, as always. They sound as coherent as ever and the single is as expertly produced as we would expect. This is an enticing taste of the new album, their first since 2017, to be released in February of next year.