In their short but intense career indie pop trio LANY – made up of frontman Paul Joseph Klein (PJK), keyboardist and guitarist Charles Leslie ‘Les’ Priest, and drummer Jake Clifford Goss — are back with studio album number three in as many years. Mama’s Boy set for release October 2nd.
LANY burst onto the scene in 2015 with their first EP featuring the track ILYSB which exploded to 8 million views on Youtube, their popularity hasn’t seemed to slow down since.
The last twelve months has seen LANY collaborate with Julia Michaels on the single Okay and appear on the Lauv single Mean It. Earlier this year the trio announced that their third album Mama’s Boy would be on its way this year. The last few months has seen glimpses into the albums form with singles such as Good Guys, If This is the Last Time, you! and most recently have left fans eagerly awaiting the rest of the album.
It’s well known there’s a common theme with the band, sunsets, love and heartbreak. This new version of their sound has added a whole new element to the mix with songs laden with lyrics and touches of home and family.
Lyricist and songwriter Paul delving deep into his roots and his hometown of Oklahoma. Really paying homage to his roots and his Christian upbringing in both the lyrics and sound with his southern twang making the occasional appearance particularly in the first released single Good Guys.
Unlike Sophomore album Malibu Nights there’s a smooth coolness to this album, whilst you still have the familiar electro-synth pop sounds there’s a more relaxed vibe this time around. There is a beautiful blend of acoustic instrumentation and electronic production. There’s a new rawness to their sound and the addition of acoustic guitars in their tracks for the first time – namely Sharing You, adds another dimension. You can’t help but be drawn into what they have created stylistically and thematically.
Whilst the already released tracks have been clear winners with the fans it’s hard to determine which will be the most popular track. With more upbeat tracks Heart won’t let me and Sad laying that synth pop vibe that serves well at live shows, to the slower tunes such as Bad News and anything 4 u hitting you straight in the feels. As a fan I particularly enjoy the nod to previous album Mailbu Nights track Purple Skies via lyrics in “Cowboy in LA“ with the line “The Purple in the sky ain’t as pretty as your eyes“ – Perhaps a way of Paul telling his following that he’s ok, and that he has found love again. After the previous album detailed the heartbreak and pain of breaking up with then girlfriend Dua Lipa.
Paul has clearly grown and moved on and it shows across this album. Track, I still talk to Jesus talking in some detail about his lifestyle including drinking, women and even drug use, he still has his faith and he still aims to be his true unapologetic self. It is sure to get the instagram comment threads flowing when the album drops.
Overall it’s a great album, it’s true to their style whilst still evolving in a mature and refined way. Fans will find it easy to connect to the tracks throughout this selection of tunes which feel like another chapter in the story, a new phase.
Whilst live shows may still be a while away in the wake of COVID19’s interruption to the normal touring schedule, you can’t help but imagine how this one will play out live. Anyone that has been to a LANY show knows the sheer energy and emotion that packs the stage. This album live will still deliver on those standards but it will hit in a very different and exciting way.
Album Review By Bronwen Caple