Prelude to Ecstacy – The Last Dinner Party

RiYL: Hozier, Florence and the Machine, Mitski
Recommended Tracks: "Nothing Matters," "Burn Alive," "On Your Side"

After going viral on Tiktok for the punchy single “Nothing Matters,” Prelude to Ecstacy is the long awaited debut album for UK’s The Last Dinner Party. 1 month before the release of their debut the band won BBC Radio 1’s sound of 2024 award . After hearing Prelude to Ecstacy, I can understand why. They have a lot of haunting vocals from lead vocalist, Abigail Morris, categorizing their sound as an upbeat-daytime-hozier. Their sound is like if The CW did a period piece – it is sexy, exciting, and leaves you wanting more. They have been known for their theatrical performances dressed in victorian era costumes for concerts. Their sound is very unique, having rock influences while bringing a fresh feminine take that modern rock music had been missing. 

There is a heavy religious theme in their music as well as their ensemble name having parallels to The Last Supper. In the song “On Your Side” and “Sinner,” there are undertones of feeling conflicted between what they grew up being taught and how they feel. In “On your Side” Morris sings “Forgive me father, won’t you take me back?”, in possible reference to God and later on singing “I wish I didn’t want you / wish I could do without” later reinforcing this message in Sinner with the line “I wish I knew you / when touch was innocent / I wish I knew you / before it felt like a sin.” This reinforces the tone of religious guilt throughout the album, growing up in the church and feeling guilty about the feelings you have later in life. 

There is a maximalist feeling to the build of their instrumentals, and every layer of sound feels intentional. There are lots of layers of pianos and some flute, giving it a more classical dark sound layered with rock guitar. The building of the vocals lines up dramatically building into a crescendo with an accompanying intensity to the vocals. 

The lyrics are relatable for the experience of being a young woman with “I am not the girl I set out to be” in Burn alive, speaking about feeling set back, a raw feeling explored in this song. Feelings of toxicity within the patriarchy are seen in songs like The Feminine Urge; “Do you feel like a man when I can’t talk back? / Do you want me or want control?”. In Caesar on the TV Screen “I know that I can see myself as a man/ when I put on that suit/ I don’t have to stay mute/ I can talk all the time.” They talk about the feminine experience of always being interrupted, overlooked, and not taken seriously. They capture a harrowing experience in a beautiful melody and wrote many relatable anthems for people everywhere, With Morris telling Paper Magazine that “Write about what you know … What I know is the feminine struggle with one’s mother and [experiencing] unrequited love.” 

There are many queer themes in the album, “Beautiful Boy” speaking on experiencing envy for a boy who is involved with the main character’s love, “The best a boy can be is beautiful…and what I’m feeling isn’t lust, its envy/He has the earth, makes love to her to spite me/I wish I was a beautiful boy.”  The character in the song is jealous that the person they love is in love with a boy and won’t see her that way. 

I recommend anyone to give this album a listen and to see them live in Dallas at The Studio at The Factory on March 22.


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