The Beatles once posed the rhetorical question, “All the lonely people, where do they all belong?” Despite the lack of a definitive answer, London Grammar’s “Hey Now” offers the antithetical rationalization that, for all the lonely people, anywhere anywhere is better than their own head. Throughout the uncomplicated yet deep lyrics, singer Hannah Reid seems as though she’s racing through a journey of emotional hostility. Realistically however, she’s simply doing her best to escape the destructiveness of solidarity within her own room. Booming drum machines resemble the distancing barrage of gunfire to symbolize the war zone within Reid’s head as she writes her sorrows away in isolation.
Despite the impressive worldwide charting of “Hey Now” and London Grammar’s subsequent debut album If You Wait reaching platinum status, the song often gets ridiculed as a carbon copy of London Grammar’s influences. Pitchfork for example, claims that London Grammar took a page straight of of the xx’s playbook, saying, “On paper they seem like a brand manager’s idea of making the xx aesthetic more palatable for a day spent shopping at the mall.” I find their to be nothing wrong with a “copied” sound defined by meandering guitars and slow pianos paired with synthetic percussion and a roaring female lead, as long as it means music this powerful will surface on a consistent basis.