The Last Dinner Party is the band that is currently on everyone’s lips. Since forming in 2021, they have supported such artists as Florence and the Machine, The Rolling Stones, Lana Del Rey and most recently Hozier. They have also been named BBC’s Sound of 2024 & won the Brit Rising Star Award. All of this before even having an album out. It’s a pretty impressive resume, that has been built up through cultivating an impressive live presence and gaining groundswell from there.
This of course brings us to the release of their debut album Prelude to Ecstasy. Easily and arguably one of the most anticipated albums of 2024. By now you’ll have likely heard the massive single Nothing Matters, which has been gracing airwaves for some time. It is a good indication of what you can expect from the album as a whole. With that said the album does yield its own dark surprises.
Burn Alive opens the album proper with a dark edge, with its lyrics comparing a captive relationship to being burned at the stake. But that is just a taste of what is to come.
The evocative and enthralling The Feminine Urge, is armed with sharp lyricism and stark imagery, conjuring images of Greek mythology and a contentious relationship. Beautiful Boy is a stirring and delicate ballad that plays on the idea of gender and looking at things from another point of view. It’s a haunting and ethereal ballad led by flute and piano. It is a song that will get into your bones and refuse to leave.
Ghuja is an eerie folk song sung in native Albanian tongue by Keyboard player Aurora Nishevci. It’s another haunting moment on the album that conjures images of Covens of Witches united.
Portrait of a Dead Girl is one of the most complete tracks on the album. Sombre and moody, dripping in gothic swagger it somehow manages to balance violent and delicate imagery together in an intoxicating blend.
This is all before we mention the albums other singles, the heartbreaking and tender On Your Side, the triumphant defiance of Caesar on a TV Screen, the lustful My Lady of Mercy and the joyful buoyancy of Sinner. They offered a tantalising taste of the album to come, while managing to not give the whole game away.
Prelude to Ecstasy is one of the most assured and confident debut albums I have come across in a long time. The Last Dinner Party are a band that already feel fully formed, but have still only shown hints at their true potential. This is an album full of female rage, celebration, melancholy and everything else in between. It is completely and wholly representative of the female experience and its many facets but it’s presented in a way that is relatable to everyone regardless of gender or orientation.
Vocalist Abigail Morris manages to weave a dark web of narratively rich storytelling that never comes across as pretentious or impenetrable all while the band sound like the Bronte Sisters via way of Florence and The Machine. If this is a prelude of what’s to come then it won’t be long before world domination beckons.
Prelude to Ecstasy is out via Island Records on February 2nd and available to pre-order now.