If there was an award for the Nicest Guys in Music, LANY would be the winner with ease. The incredibly lovely and gracious guys also make incredible music; in fact LANY is a band you’ve certainly heard, even if you do not recognise it. As the most streamed artists on Spotify’s Discovery Weekly playlist, their music has reached to the ends of the earth and flooded the headphones of millions. With indie pop beats the Los Angeles trio curate every minute detail of their brand, from the songs to the merch to the social media accounts, creating a pure and unique experience for fans and listeners. With the release of new album LANY approaching, Paul, Jake and Les take to the road in an extensive world tour. Before their Birmingham show we got to sit down with the lads to chat about making music, staying autonomous, and what the future holds for LANY.
Unfortunately the interview cut across support band Off Bloom but Marc was there to capture their very popular set.
A mixture of exhaustion and excitement fill the dressing room before the show. The boys have just come in from the Philippines, their most recent stop in their world tour. The first major headlining world tour, LANY is living in the mixture of jet lagged bodies and show ready minds. While the band is fairly young, they knew their sound from the start. Paul, lead singer, told us that the iconic LANY sound “came when we all got into a room together. We got three to four songs in and we knew it was a discovery. We arrived at our sound pretty soon,” and have been perfecting this sound every since. Their sound is part island indie, part ethereal rock, when smashed together it creates a pleasurable euphoric journey of sonic noise and silky lyricism.
This sound continues with the first full-length album titled LANY. After 14-15 months of work and 16 beautiful new tracks, LANY has produced what promises to be a hit of an album. The boys agreed that they are amped for this new album to surface. With the motto “pressure is privilege” as the mindset for this album, the motto comes from a Serena Williams documentary, the band crafted expressive songs that have been tweaked and toned to perfection. The creation for them was similar to other EPs, Paul telling us that the “process was pretty much the same.” Jake, the percussionist for LANY, alluded to the process a bit more, explaining, “Paul is our lyric man. We all write around the computer and Paul brings the lyrics to us, he brings the magic.” After that Les takes the raw cuts and mixes them to LANY perfection.
While it may seem simplistic, just three dudes and a computer, the process is what makes LANY’s music so special. There is a clear sound and a clear brand, no extra pieces. The boys explain that the sound and vision “is something we never struggled with. We’ve always known our sound and our identity.” This is why the band has created such masterpieces without outside aide and without a producer’s eye. While they are certainly open to it the necessity has not surfaced; LANY is focused and know what it wants, a rarity in an industry that is focused on single hits and mass production.
The laser focus of LANY extends into each element of their brand. This means that every piece of merch (of which they had just receive great new merch), every social media post, and even those album covers are all crafted by LANY. The band nonchalantly said that they are able to have such control because “this is all that we do. It’s a lot but we have the capacity for it.” The capacity for control is rare for many artists, and yet LANY is able to handle it all with extreme success. This is obviously visible through their live show.
LANY curates their show with intentionality and purpose, something you come to expect from the band. Paul described the show as “3 acts of 5 songs, separated by instrumental pieces. The lighting breaks up the acts; so the first act is very dark with silhouettes and the lights expand as the set goes on. By the end of the sets we are utilising all our lights. Its subtle but very thought out.” It is certainly quite a sight to behold. Just as stated the first act started with screaming fans and a dark stage. “Kiss” opened the bands show. Through a vortex of light and decked out in the new merch the band sucked every living thing into their world. The easy pop build felt light and easy, as the band exuded energy onstage the crowd began to stir with frenzy. “Bad, Bad, Bad” and new song “Good Girls” enlivened the room. Both songs are upbeat and electric, with some 80’s nods they display a quintessential LANY sound. The first set of songs closed with smash “Walk Away” and Jake’s new favourite “Purple Teeth.” The two seamlessly slide into each other, as the drum lays out each beat the songs shimmer and slide through the crowd, intoxicating all that are there.
An instrumental section and a shift in the lights bring up the second act. An upbeat crowd favourite opens this set. “4Ever” is the first of the really island indie songs that the band plays. The build of the guitar elicits an excitement that shifts the somber emotion of the first act. The upbeat tempo and summer vibes continues with “Someone Else” and “Like You Lots.” The perfected chords transverse the space as the boys display their incredible abilities as musicians. Just as there are no gimmicks when it comes to recording, there are no tricks on stage. Just brilliant music played by exceptionally talented individuals. The lights flair and warm, and a new song swarms. “Current Location” ends this set with its indie rock with strong piano melodies.
Another instrumental and then a bombastic display of lights signal the final set. Personal favourite “Where The Hell Are My Friends,” a lyrical masterpiece that examines the angst of life in LA, brings about mass hysteria. Clearly I am not the only one who loves this tune. Keeping with the LA theme “Made In Hollywood” brings about an orange backlit hue and an animated Paul. As he gets everyone up and jumping, Paul becomes the leader of emotions that LANY has crafted during their set. A stage dive brings about excitement as Paul connects with his people. “Pink Skies” comes through the speakers as turquoise and purple lights appear. The mid tempo song allows the fans to relax a bit, only to be awakened by the final song. “ILYSB” if the perfect closing song; upbeat indie pop perfection the tune dances through the ears of all in attendance and leaves us wanting so much more as the band leaves the stage.
LANY is a band of the people who is tightly focused on fan experience and creating genuinely brilliant tunes. Their unbelievable focus and knowledge of their craft allow them to freely create masterpiece works that are devoid of the cheap and false that plague the music world. If that wasn’t enough the fact that they are unquestionably nice dudes creates a group that is primed for big things. LANY is an astonishing trio whose music emboldens and entertains fans around the world. Their new album is no doubt going to be an exceptional piece of work that will become the soundtrack for the summer and every season after that.
Reviewer and interviewer – Kylie McCormick
Photographer – Marc Osbourne