Whether it was because of a song heard on TikTok or from listening to suggestions of favorite artists like Hozier and Florence and the Machine, The Last Dinner Party is a band many are keeping their eye on.
A group of five women and non-binary artists formed in 2021 playing gigs around England and later came to release the single “Nothing Matters” in 2023. Now, to cement the band’s sound, they released their first album “Prelude to Ecstasy” on the first Friday of February.
For a debut album, artists often have to do the job of stating who they are and correctly market the singles to the target audience to be understood. This is something The Last Dinner Party nailed completely.
Here are some thoughts on each track of “Prelude to Ecstasy.”
“Prelude to Ecstasy”
The album’s title track is an instrumental intro to what listeners are about to dive into. Even without lyrics, the tone of the project is set and you can already capture a sense of who The Last Dinner Party is.
The sound of this track gives the feeling of a fight sequence backing track, or how the band would choose to open their current headlining tour as well.
This track links various fire metaphors within its lyrics, as well as relating to things that aren’t fire itself but resemble burning. The line about candle wax really tied the message of the song together.
As the first song with vocals, the track does a good job of highlighting the harmonies and voices the band has to offer in members Abigail Morris, Lizzie Mayland and Aurora Nishevci.
“Caesar on a TV Screen”
As the last single released before the album, this track had a lot to prove with where the band’s sound was going. After hearing the other singles, then working the way down the album, listeners can pick up a pattern of slow intros with the first few bars or a song that leads to a dance-y beat drop. Every time it’s used, it works. “Caesar on a TV Screen” is no exception.
The Last Dinner Party has often been compared to Kate Bush or Queen, most likely for the British rock genre connection, but the vocals in this song hold some parallels to Fiona Apple’s work as well.
“The Feminine Urge”
“The Feminine Urge” truly taps into that British rock genre and highlights the female vocals very well. In a way, it puts The Last Dinner Party in a whole category of its own.
The message in this song can resonate with the band’s audience, especially with lines like “Here comes a feminine urge, I know it so well.” Its just a very understood piece of media that gets the point across well.
“On Your Side”
Another single released by the band in 2023, “On Your Side” sounds like the song played at a prom during a couple’s last slow dance as they break up. From the start of the song it even touches on new beginnings and moving on.
The outro of this track is very nice and melodic, pulling the listener in like a vortex. Plus, bonus points for hand-holding imagery in the song, which always has such a great impact.
Introducing this track with a flute is everything it needs. The Last Dinner Party’s Mayland talked to Apple Music about how the flute is a lonely instrument, and it conveys that feeling well in “Beautiful Boy” thanks to member Emily Roberts.
With only two words, the vocalizing and harmonizing of “beautiful boy” adds so many layers and is able to say so much more without even adding any more words. The best word to describe this track in its entirety is pretty.
“Gjuha” meaning “tongue” in Albanian is possibly the song with the most meaning on the album. The entire album is a combined effort of some members writing parts of the song, and some practicing separately, but this track was truly involved with everyone, according to Unclear.
With most of the track in another language, the vocals from Aurora Nishevci, who discusses the impact of her mother tongue and having it here, carry so much importance. This track acts as an interlude and is much shorter than the others, but an excellent addition to the album.
With a seamless transition from “Gjuha” that could rival Hozier’s “De Selby Part 1 and 2,” this was the second single released by The Last Dinner Party.
“Sinner” is the song that really sells the group’s alternative rock sound and is a track many listeners will go back on the more widespread the band quintet becomes. It feels like an origin story of sorts. The instrumentals from Roberts and Georgia Davies do a great job of creating an earworm.
“My Lady of Mercy”
The clapping in “My Lady of Mercy” is such a nice touch to the background as it fits with the imagery painted at the beginning of the song talking about playfulness, childhood and fun.
The transition being a deep breath to a more intense instrumental interchanges the playful vibe with a more mature sound so well.
“Portrait of a Dead Girl”
This entire song reads as vulnerable; the lyrics, the tone, the performance, everything. The line “If anyone could kill me, it would probably be you,” highlights just how raw the artists are being.
Though, as the lyrics highlight a man with letters tattooed on his knuckles, the red flags could be seen from a mile away.
“Nothing Matters” is arguably the most notable single from The Last Dinner Party, as well as their first. The track currently has over 28 million listens on Spotify.
The lyrics are catchy and the tune is danceable. There is a reason so many people are drawn to this song, but it is also important how a queer, female-majority group can talk about sex and being careless in such a powerful way.
The closing track of “Prelude to Ecstasy” is very eerie yet easily understood. The Last Dinner Party does a great job of making its messages reachable to the audience and have the listeners relate. The lyrics “I’m just a mirror, pretty glass and empty heart” or the following line “I’m just a mirror, I don’t exist without your gaze” are entirely raw.
The instrumental outro ties everything heard in the song as well as the entire album into a neat little bow. As a growing fan of The Last Dinner Party, it leaves you wanting to hear what they come up with next.