Album Review: “LANY” by LANY
The alt-band’s first release brings groovy vibes and romantic nostalgia
The first words you hear on LANY’s debut album come after a swell of soft rain and glittering synths. Singer Paul Klein quickly confesses, “Oh my god, I think I’m in love.”
And when you listen to LANY, and their self-titled release, you can’t help but feel the same way.
Three years and four EPs later, the Los Angeles band released “LANY” on June 30, a long awaited album for fans. Their chill, alternative sounds and ability to evoke a simple sense of teenage wonder have caught the attention of many, making them a hot opening act for the likes of Troye Sivan and Ellie Goulding.
They went on two headlining tours without an album in sight. That is, until March 3, when the rose logo that had been seen so many times on tour accompanied an Instagram caption confirming a June release.
The singles leading up to the release (“Good Girls,” “It Was Love,” “The Breakup,” “13” and “Super Far”) confirmed that the band’s simple west coast vibes and sound were not only going to stay intact, but were also merely small glimpses into a bigger story played out on “LANY.” Each song on the album is its own story of love with all the confusion, beauty, work, sadness and rawness that come with being in a relationship ─ or trying to keep one together.
One of LANY’s greatest strengths is their ability to say the unsaid in their lyrics. What do you say to someone who is your everything, who won’t commit or who keeps running away? How do you process what your friends say about your love or what your mind starts thinking of at 2 a.m.? Most of these thoughts never surface in real life, but LANY has clearly pulled them out of their minds for our viewing. The album exemplifies a process of piecing together those hard to say lines and synthesizing them into songs that pack a heavy punch for the listeners.
Mixed with their brutal honesty is a sense of poetic beauty and diverse content that can’t help but put you in the song. “Overtime” puts you on defense as Klein speaks directly to his betraying lover, saying, “Tell me how you put those tears in your eyes, grand central downstairs, skippin’ work that night.” You get to slip into the shoes of a reflective rockstar on “Tampa” with the airy, late night thoughts of “I can do better than this.” A sweet voicemail from drummer Jake Goss’s mother puts you on the receiving end of the a parent’s chatter, a role that many kids know so well.
Despite the beauty and happiness that LANY thrives on, a lot of blame and reality exists on this album. Klein speaks directly to someone with his frequent use of “you,” a tactic clearly used to communicate his purest, raw thoughts. “I love you” seem to be quickly followed by the “how did we get here?” as seen in songs like “Flowers on the Floor” and “Hericane.” In fact, the songs flip so frequently between the two that you begin to question whether all the electronic synths and Tumblr-esque lyrics are simply rose-colored glasses for its listeners. Are all of these sensations of love and lust just romanticized figments of a glittering alternative album? Are we truly in love with this release or just the way it makes us feel?
But, as Klein sings on the last song: it was love. And we know that.