Ever since their grand debut with their first single, ‘Nothing Matters’, their theatrical, lavish, live shows, and wardrobes lined with corsets, overflowing fabrics, and velvets, The Last Dinner Party have become a household name in the past 12 months. With the release of their debut album, Prelude To Ecstasy, their rise shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
The album opens with an orchestral instrumental, evoking feelings of melancholy and longing, setting the tone for what’s to come by creating a haunting and beautiful atmosphere. As it fades out, listeners are thrown headfirst into ‘Burn Alive’ – the high-energy opener of the band’s live shows. The song pays homage to the legendary Joan of Arc, filled with references to her bravery and sacrifice, against a backdrop of dreamy gothic new-wave that feels reminiscent of the iconic Siouxie Sioux – a perfect introduction to the band’s debut, showcasing their unique sound and style.
An album standout is unveiled in ‘Feminine Urge’, a track about female rage – allowing The Last Dinner Party to unashamedly boast about their femininity whilst spearheading what it feels like to not only be a woman in a male-dominated music industry but also what it feels like to be a woman in a male-dominated society. It’s a track that showcases what the band do best, using their music and lyrics to convey powerful messages whilst giving their all to entertain.
Prelude To Ecstasy’s singles, ‘Nothing Matters’, ‘Sinner’, ‘On Your Side’, and ‘Caesar on a TV Screen’ feel right at home within the album, recontextualised and given a new lease of life. Listening to them again, surrounded by the album’s 8 other tracks, it feels similar to viewing a grand painting, every track acting as a separate, intricate detail that contributes to its overall display.
‘Beautiful Boy’ is a gem that strikes a deep emotional chord. Seeing the band take a subdued approach, this time led by the flute, to create an atmosphere both mellow and poignant. As it unfolds, it delves into the privileges that come alongside being a handsome man – a testament to the band’s artistic vision and talents.
The power felt within The Last Dinner Party’s debut album is captured effortlessly by the album’s closer, ‘Mirror’, a wrenching slow-burner that feels like a juxtaposition to the indulgence felt within the album’s singles whilst proving that the five-piece has a fearlessness within them that defies traditional boundaries of genre, offering a fresh, exciting take on modern music. Prelude To Ecstasy is an all-you-can-eat feast, where every track is served on a silver platter.