The most distinctive thing about London Grammar is how well they walk the line between music which isn’t over the top and ethereal vocals. It’s an enchanting mix, but some songs tend to fall a bit flat when they struggle to find the right balance.
‘Oh Woman, Oh Man’ does not fall flat — it’s as 3D as they come. Hannah Reid’s vocals are even grander with the accompanying swelling music (Paul Epworth’s influence, I’m guessing?). We still get the ambient vibe we love from their previous album, but the first chorus changes the game completely. Still not over the top at all, it kind of takes you by surprise — there’s no way you’re going to stop listening now. I just imagine Reid floating up to the sky and singing down as the music comes from all around. I can feel the chorus filling me up.
Still, the ‘Oh Woman, Oh Man’ is nuanced. While the layering of instruments is in full effect in the chorus, each verse strips it back a little bit. The song never gets ahead of itself. Reid sings variations of the same lyrics, yet each time they sound different due to the added textures of the music. I love the fact that the eponymous lyric ‘oh woman, oh man’ almost sounds like ‘oh woman, omen, choose a path for a child...’
The song is powerful and ethereal and, much like the rest of their music, enchants and demands a couple of listens.