Wednesday, 30 September 2020

Album Review: LANY - Mama's Boy

LANY - Mama's Boy
1. you!  2. cowboy in LA  3. heart won’t let me  4. if this is the last time  5. i still talk to jesus
6. paper  7. good guys  8. sharing you  9. bad news  10. when you’re drunk
11. anything 4 u  12. sad  13. (what i wish just one person would say to me)
14. nobody else

Released October 2nd 2020 through Polydor Records

There was only one person in the world I cared about hearing Malibu Nights,” says LANY's frontman Paul Klein. “Now, there’s not one person in the world I don’t want to hear mama’s boy.” Having long established himself as a heartbreak troubadour, Klein somehow knew there had to be change. Having dealt with the vulnerabilities of loving someone with every emotion, and the relationship breakdown that followed, the band needed a reincarnation, and they were about to get it following his epiphany on stage whilst touring last year. 

Playing across the world for months at a time can certainly be lonely, and ultimately formed the groundwork to the band's third studio album 'Mama's Boy' as the trio re-established their roots, from growing up in Oklahoma to the introspective views of family life. 'Mama's Boy' is that hat-trick, wholesome record that continues LANY's story telling narratives and spins them in a completely new light. It just so helps the backdrop is euphoric in its every ounce.

Wasting no time, it plants the seed with you!, an intro that pitches prominent emotion against their hurricane energy. Through its contrasting soft verse and chest rattling choruses, the band clearly have their sights set on stadium euphoria and there's no reason why they shouldn't reach that aspirant goal.

Having upped sticks to Nashville to record, Paul, Les Preist and Jake Goss hoped to achieve a new songwriting experience and it's certainly something that's evident throughout as they blend all-out-pop with hometown Americana. Take the retrospective cowboy in LA for instance as Klein gets reminiscent recalling his Oklahoma upbringing, all the while balancing a new world of bright lights and pink sky sunsets from his home in LA. The result.... a wide-screened cinematic pop effort with just the right amount of nostalgic imagery.

It still only feels like yesterday when I was introduced to the band through their pastel shaded single Made In Hollywood. Time flies when you're having fun, but blink and you'll miss it. And Klein knows this all too well as if this is the last time takes a retrospective look at his life. Encompassing their southern sensibilities, the track's emotive ode to his parents rings true to the cliched saying life's too short as he goes on to explain, "It was initially inspired by the inevitable truth that one day my parents aren’t gonna be here any more, that picking up the phone and calling my mom is actually a luxury that I won’t always have".

With religious themes running throughout their music, i still talk to jesus takes an honest look at his wrongdoings, before he seeks forgiveness crooning "I lied to my mamma, smoked marijuana, most of the time, I do what I wanna, you might not believe it, but I still talk to Jesus". Elsewhere he comes to the realisation that the grass ain't always greener on the other side with the emotive ballad, Paper. It's underrated, so subtle it could often be overlooked, but the depth in his songwriting builds Klein in to a true modern-day wordsmith. His lyrics fluidly melting in to their surrounding instrumentation.

Not only are guitars now at the fore, there's no filler here. No build up of interludes or instrumentals. Just 14 well thought out tracks. Even at its midway point we're still getting their culminated fragmented pop ideas in full effect as Good Guys breaks apart the idealist image of modern day love. A track that effortlessly depicts all the constant swiping, the showing lack of interest and games people play in the minefield that is dating. “As soon as you say ‘I love spending time with you’ to someone, they figure something out and they’re not interested anymore,” explains Klein of the song’s meaning. “It’s like a challenge. You accomplish the task of getting someone to like you and they move on.

Mastering a vast array of dynamics, from Bad news which sees the band's distinct synth pad arrangements come to life through buoyant lyrics and open space, to when you're drunk's euphoric energy and falsetto, it's a record that rises without falter.  

As it enters its penultimate stage, it wouldn't truly be a LANY record without some form of destructive self realisation and sad fills that void with arpeggiated synths and heartbreaking lyrics reminiscent of their Malibu Nights era. 

From (what i wish just one person would say to me) and its elongated melodies and the need for self appreciation, to the contrasting acoustic closer nobody else, described as a "modest love song", 'Mama's Boy' offers moments of striking brilliance through poignant lyricism and self-expression. There's a strong community that runs throughout LANY and I think it's safe to say this touching, soulfully dexterous LP caters for all.

'Mama's Boy' will be released Friday 2nd October 2020 via Polydor Records. Pre-Save and Pre-Order here.



Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Romy - Lifetime

Probably the only positive news to emerge from the lockdown that continues to grip our country is that today sees Romy unveil her debut solo single, Lifetime. Written and recorded in London during her extensive period of time at home, the track is a burst of life, scintillating with nostalgic club themes through its thumping electronics and glitchy chopped up vocals samples. Described in her own words the new single is about "being totally in the moment and celebrating it". “Lifetime” is accompanied by a lyric video created by designer Patrick Savile and animator Connor Campbell. Take a watch/listen for yourselves below.

Photo by Vic Lentaigne


Monday, 28 September 2020

Sam Johnson - Changes

Taken from his forthcoming new EP‘Are We There Yet?’, Sam Johnson has shared his latest single Changes over the weekend. Continually advancing as a songwriter, his latest effort raises the bar to exceptional levels as his soaring pop sensibilities come to light across a polished backdrop of well thought out instrumentation. Speaking about his new release, he goes on to say, “This song was almost inevitable and a needed bit of closure to the ‘coming of age’ sentiment running throughout the EP. It starts with the realisation that a long distance relationship I’d had for 6 years wasn’t going to work out, but then beckons in the change that comes with that decision and the ramifications it will have on my life. Both exciting and daunting, this song really is, at its heart, an optimistic look to the future and all it might bring. Moving to London, falling in love again, and following my dreams in music are the real touchstones of this song rather than a mournful look back on what could have been.It can be summed up by a little clip of audio that I’d ripped from a video on my phone and placed deep within the song's emotive middle 8, where my girlfriend says “You’ll be fine Sammy, you’re in safe hands”. Take a listen for yourselves below. 

Photo Credit: Isy Townsend


Saturday, 26 September 2020

Talkboy - Stupid Luck

Leeds-based outfit Talkboy returned on Friday with their joyous new single Stupid Luck. Unveiled as the lead single to their upcoming EP, the band's production gets a shiny new overhaul as their continually maturing songwriting picks up pace through woozy melodies and driving percussion all the time matched by their infectious energy. Speaking about the new single ‘Stupid Luck’, the sixtet added: “As a group of people we love to push the blame around and look for excuses –trying to find little life get-out clauses that justify our existence as big kids. Birthdays are beginning to become things that are scary events where you realise maybe stuff hasn’t turned out quite how you planned. That being said, I think it’s good to remember although that may be the case and that being driven is important for sure, being able to realise how lucky you are is too”. Take a listen for yourselves below.

Talkboy is Katie Heap (vocals), Calum Juniper (vocals), Tim Malkin (guitar), Charlotte Jones (keys), Tom Sargent (bass), Jake Greenway (drums)

Live Dates
10thFeb –Gullivers, Manchester
11thFeb –The Grace, London
12thFeb –Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds
6thAug –Bingley Weekender


Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Vistas - Comfort

Following on from their recently shared single Stranger and in the wake of their highly acclaimed debut album 'Everything Changes in the End', Scotland's Vistas return with yet another bonus effort in the form of Comfort. Expecting nothing less from the trio, once more we're treated to their big energy, convulsive basslines and catchy melodies all neatly packaged together in to a 3 minute pop perfected masterpiece. Take a listen for yourselves below.

March 2021
18 - Barrowlands, Glasgow,
19 -  Riverside, Newcastle
20 - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
21 - The Fleece, Bristol
22 - Heaven, London
24 - O2 Institute, Birmingham
25 - Manchester Academy, Manchester,


Friday, 18 September 2020

HYYTS - Lonely People


Glaswegian pop duo HYYTS return ahead of the weekend with their euphoric new single, Lonely People. Fitting for a time where social distancing has become the norm, the pair's latest effort is drenched in sonically pleasurable sounds as the track slowly emerges from its unassuming shell towards its powerful crescendo. Speaking about the single, singer Adam says: “Lonely People is about growing up and realising that you should always leave yourself open to be hurt because any kind of happy life needs some sadness in it. It’s better to feel anything than nothing. It’s a coming of age song and basically a wee bit of advice I wish someone had given me when I started going out and getting full of booze and drugs.” Take a listen for yourselves below.


Thursday, 17 September 2020

Sunflower Bean - Moment In The Sun

New York trio Sunflower Bean have returned with their first new single of 2020 unveiling the euphorically pleasing Moment In The Sun. With our winter slowly creeping in, it's something we cling to with every dying breath and Julia Cumming, Nick Kivlen, and Jacob Faber know this all too well as they make us come to the realise the important little things in life. “‘Moment In The Sun’ is about finally recognizing what is important in one’s life, the people you decide to spend it with,Sunflower Bean explain of the track. “All of these things we distract ourselves with, the never-ending mountain of career climbing, the pursuit of financial success, and the hope that after all that trying you could finally be cool. All of that is meaningless in comparison to one great day, hour, or moment with someone you really love.” Take a listen for yourselves below.

Photo credit: Andy DeLuca & Sarah Eisman


Wednesday, 16 September 2020

LANY share a new track today, “cowboy in LA”

Taken from their forthcoming new album 'Mama's Boy', due out October 2nd on Polydor Records, Los Angeles-based trio LANY share their latest single today, “cowboy in LA”. Featuring a plethora of fragmented pop ideas, the track continues their theme of love-lorn, heartfelt lyrics set across an ignited backdrop of infectious melodies and gleaming production. "Someone asked me where I was from and somewhere, out of my spirit, I just said ‘Man, I’m from Oklahoma!’ It was a weird sense of pride, to be from the middle of nowhere,” Paul says of the realization that he needed to look to the country’s heartland for this album’s inspiration. Thematically mama’s boy is a sweeping tribute to home, heritage and Americana filled with songs that highlight what’s “symbolic of being an American kid” today." Take a listen for yourselves below.

'LANY—Mama’s Boy Tracklist'
1. you!
2. cowboy in LA
3. heart won’t let me
4. if this is the last time
5. i still talk to jesus
6. paper
7. good guys
8. sharing you
9. bad news
10. when you’re drunk
11. anything 4 u
12. sad
13. (what i wish just one person would say to me)
14. nobody els