It’s truly on only the rarest of occasions when a relatively unheard of artist comes along and instantaneously gives you two thoughts: “why aren’t they the biggest thing in music right now”, and “I wish I would’ve known about them before today”. Reigning from the glittering and glamorous lights of Los Angeles, newcomers LANY are rapidly rising from underdogs to easily the newest pop obsession.
The band name is a clever acronym for the two most popular cities in the United States, Los Angeles (LA) and New York (NY). The three guys of the group, Paul Klein (lead vocals and keyboard), Les Priest (guitar), and Jake Goss (drums), have only been a band since 2014, and in what is almost taboo nowadays, built their brand from the ground up entirely themselves. Within one week of randomly putting two songs on Soundcloud, they had multiple record labels reaching out to sign them, tempted to snatch up the star potential that’s been evident from the literal beginning.
The fascinating enigma of LANY comes from the fact that they aren’t the next “cookie cutter boy band”. The most crucial part of how they’ve already been headlining their own tours around the world in less than 4 years, despite only having one full length album out, is obviously the material. They don’t have killer dance moves, make music purely for ear-worm value, or rely on hotshot producers to tell them what songs to write or use.
Like every other natural element of LANY, the songs are completely original, and feature so much more substance than most pop acts on the scene today. Instead, they provide a laidback vibe virtually delivered as if the California coast itself is caressing your ears, combined with dream 80s synths, slow ballads, and a multiple guitar solos sure to appease every type of music lover in some way. Their lyrics voice a passionate take on love, one that’s so refreshing because of their wearing-their-heart-on-their-sleeve vulnerability. It’s rare to see men croon so honestly about how deep their hearts yearn for a genuine love connection (“all my friends keep saying that I’m way too good for you, but my heart is so invested I don’t wanna see the truth”), and be so unapologetically frank about their high standards (“got a pretty face, but a pretty empty head, and I wanna stick around, but damn, I’m bored”).
Their standouts are Super Far, Pink Skies, and I Love You So Bad (ILYSB), although it’s difficult to find one song that wouldn’t be suited to scream at the top of your lungs whilst driving in your car at midnight with the windows rolled down. That feeling of release is only amplified seeing them live. While Klein’s frontman presence is electric, and the band’s aesthetic practically yells “cool”, they aren’t at all intimidating. They make you want to root for them, as humble and familiar as if you’re neighbor from down the street asked you to come watch his band play, to which you then discover they’re super fun and really talented.
If you haven’t heard of LANY, it’s worth jumping on the bandwagon now while you can still buy one of their concert tickets for under $50, because there’s a good chance it won’t stay like that for long.
Their second full length album, Malibu Nights, is teased to be released by the end of 2018. Follow them on social media @thisislany.