New but already popular trip-hop band London Grammar captivates audiences with wistful lyrics delivered by Hannah Reid’s subtle yet powerful vocals, Dan Rothman’s melancholy guitar melodies, and Dominic ‘Dot’ Major’s quiet yet strong rhythm, occasionally delivered via a djembe. In fact, when Reid and Rothman first met Majors at Nottingham University, he was playing a djembe.
Playing the drums and the keyboard as well, Majors is meticulous when it comes to deciding which sounds are enhanced by the calm yet powerful, stripped-down rhythms of the djembe. He’ll often save the exotic instrument for the group’s quieter, more intimate tracks, such as “Darling Are You Gonna Leave Me” (heard in the video above). The djembe really punctuates the group’s fresh, innovative take on moody mid-tempo pieces and sets their sound apart from those long explored by similar artists, such as Florence Welch and the XX.
A percussion instrument that can generate energy while also creating a sense of intimacy, the djembe is actually quite fitting for introspective pop and both maintains and heightens the London Grammar’s ambient, ethereal sound.
We love the way the djembe maintains London Grammar’s sad, mournful lyrics and calm, ambient sounds while giving them a heartbeat, a sense of life, and a quiet energy. What do you think about London Grammar’s use of the djembe? Let us know in the comments section below!