LANY @ o2 Insitute, 9th December 2017

The Ancient Greek aphorism “knows thyself” has been the seat of conceptual knowledge that has driven humans to contemplative realms for years upon years.  Know thyself, both a command and a goal. By knowing ones true core one can reach into the other dimension of knowledge and euphoria. Knowing thyself brings total nirvana, bliss, a level of intimacy and power that few behold. In the music realm this aphorism is important but is incomplete with the secondary concept; know thyself and know thy audience. It is the complete pairing in the music realm that brings success. Los Angeles bred band LANY knows thyself and certainly knows thy fandom. Creating electronic spacey pop the band has continued to grow from the humble seedpod of Spotify, know boasting a range of accolades and success.

After a stellar opening from Colouring, LANY returned to the Birmingham stage combining their own personal style with a fan frenzy to create a whirlwind of sights and sound on the O2 Institute stage.

Know thyself: it is a commandment that LANY has fulfilled. Paul, Les and Jake have combined their musical talents and explorative mindsets to create an atmospheric amalgamation that is playful and meditative, music that is otherworldly yet still within the boundaries acceptable by so many. While they added some instrumentation into the debut album LANY, such as some play with horns and other brass sections, their sound has remained consistent.  This dream like synth pop, their signature, is evident all through their O2 Institute set.

Opening with pop infused ‘”Dumb Stuff” and raucous “4Ever!” the band blends pop structures with a heavy synth backbone; drummer Jake brings in a rhythmic style that adds a slight amount of rock to round out their sound. It is a blend of styles and sonic elements that create a very signature sound.  The band has expanded in their debut album, juxtaposing high energy with a little more passivity. Songs like “Hericane” and “It was Love,” along with earlier released “Pink Skies,” show the slower paced side of LANY. While these songs certainly are not the overtly dance structure, fans still sing along with guttural enthusiasm.

It is not merely the sonic style that display LANY’s intuition, but added to this is their subject matter that also leads one to ascertain that LANY truly does know and own their sound. As an LA girl I understand their laments over traffic, or the loneliness feelings of “WHERE THE HELL ARE MY FRIENDS.” As a millennial the unrequited love “Tampa” and the joyful of “Purple Teeth” are automatic correlations. The subject matter than of LANY is one that pulls from realistic everyday situations. LANY just wraps these perhaps passing moments in poetic verses that seem to extol a deeper purpose on each fleeting breath. It is clear that the fans singing along also feel deeply about these reflections on life proving that if you write what you know others will fall in love.

Know thyself and know thy fandom. The secondary one is obviously an additive, and yet LANY’s rising success is very much based on their understanding of their fandom base. Entertaining a younger fan base, a majority of the O2 Institute fans where teenagers or millennials, LANY has based a live show around interactive lighting and a continuous stream of uptempo dance tunes. As songs like “Flowers on the Floor,” “Good Girls,” and “13” flashed the three jumbo screens flanking the band morphed into wonderful lands of pink and floral images. During other songs the images were replaced by the fans themselves, reflecting their faces behind the lads. If youth want entertainment, LANY produces.

Yet it is not all show; LANY seems to hold a deep connection to their fans. Growing from a Spotify account, with little label influence or outside production, LANY has taken the time to invest and connect. As the night goes on frontman Paul takes time to interact with fans, breaking from “Made in Hollywood” and “Pancakes” to connect. LANY is not just on stage for entertainment, rather they are continuously investing in their fandom, creating relationships as well as memories.

LANY understands their uniqueness in an industry of same, they understand their fans desires and emotions. These two powerful seats of knowledge combine to create a hurricane effect. While the younger band will still need to make wise choices as they scale, their current momentum could prove astronomic. At the O2 Institute LANY crafted a stand out set, fully displaying their individualistic style and connection to the fandom around them.

Review and Photographs: Kylie McCormick

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