The Last Dinner Party, i.e. 2024’s most hyped band to date, do not disappoint with the release of their debut album, Prelude to Ecstasy. With outstanding shifts in mood and tempo and operatic cut glass vocals, these tracks are destined to be echoed at high volume in concert.
The album has been foreshadowed for some time, with 5 of the 12 songs released as singles over the past few months (‘Nothing Matters’, ‘Sinner’, ‘My Lady of Mercy’, ‘On Your Side’ and ‘Caesar on a TV Screen’).
With all the hype around The Last Dinner Party, there has been some criticism that they’re “industry plants” and I so desperately wanted to dislike them, but I could not stop listening to ‘Nothing Matters’ – it made me want to dance, cry, scream, run, cry and dance again within the short three minutes of the song. The heart-breaking and groovy feel of the hit single runs right through their debut album, with these vibes only being heightened as I listened to Prelude to Ecstasy for the first time.
The opening instrumental track ‘Prelude’ is reminiscent of a Harry Potter battle scene (in the best way possible) thanks to the dramatic use chords and percussion. The rising action and consistent increase in tempo is reminiscent of a Greek Tragedy, setting up listeners for a suspenseful journey through the Kate Bush, Stevie Nicks-esque style of the record.
The Last Dinner Party have a somewhat unique style which is uplifting and relatable through their lyrics, especially on ‘Feminine Urge’: “do you feel like a man when I can’t talk back? / Do you want me or do you want control?”. They manage to capture the essence of being a girl in your twenties so superbly it feels exciting, creating a silent community amongst listeners, almost like a reassurance that we are all going through a similar thing.
‘Burn Alive’, ‘Caesar on a TV Screen’ and ‘Beautiful Boy’ follow a similar narrative style feel as listeners are taken through a series of familiar thoughts the five-piece bring to light. The album confronts themes of the pain of the past, male gaze, reflections of childhood and general dilemmas of being in your twenties. As Suki Waterhouse famously said, “When you’re a young woman in your twenties, it’s the trenches” – and this record helps make us feel slightly less depressed about that.
The album fluctuates between a gothic ’70s feel (‘Caesar on A TV Screen’) and a Franz Ferdinand-like hard rock, post-punk grind. ‘Sinner’ brings out the urge to stomp your Doc Martens as aggressively as possible on sticky floors, due to the piano and guitar solos.
It is obvious the all female five piece are having great fun in this album, which is what makes it so exciting to listen to. They have created their own personal mythology and I am excited to see what their UK tour brings later this year.