The visual is a photograph of the three band members.

LANY’s Evolution: 2014-2020

By Ashley Farnie
Music Journalist

Making their debut in 2014 as an indie band singing about young love on the west coast, LANY’s homemade sound made them personable, allowing them to gain a large following of fans. 

LANY’s debut track “ILYSB” (“I Love You So Bad”) remains their most widely known song and encouraged artists to bring them on tour as the supporting act. Their participation in Zella Day’s tour in 2015, as well as Halsey’s Badlands tour, spread their name around the fan bases consisting of mostly teenage girls, who have proven to be one of the most influential demographics in music. 

As their name gained traction, the heartthrob lead singer Paul Klein began using the internet to form connections with fans through Instagram, Twitter, as well as sending personal newsletters to subscribers of the band’s email list. 

LANY became known for their fan interaction by staying after shows to meet fans, interacting on social media, and using fan art for promotions and merchandise. This three-piece consisting of Klein, drummer Jake Goss, and pianist and producer Les Priest, worked smart through social media outlets gaining them the large following of loyal stans they have today.

With two full-length albums under their belt, LANY and Malibu Nights, LANY have announced they are working on album three, Mama’s Boy, and have already released the first two singles, “Good Guys” and “if this is the last time.” 

In addition to the singles from their upcoming album, Lauv’s recent album, ~how i’m feeling~, included the track “Mean It” featuring LANY; the band’s second collaboration after that of “okay” featuring Julia Michaels.

 Lauv is a pop singer and songwriter who has received attention for his singles “I Like Me Better” and “i’m so tired…”. With subtle hints given to the world about Mama’s Boy, the only information aside from the singles alluding to the theme of the album is the new merchandise which typically corresponds with the album art.

Released in May, “Good Guys” gives us our first glimpse into Mama’s Boy. This track begins with the typical LANY sound of 80s synth and fades into a pop chorus. Lyrics such as, “I just wanna give you everything / Show you I’m a southern gentleman,” draw from Klein’s hometown in Oklahoma, contrary to the cities which comprise the band name (Los Angeles (LA), New York (NY). 

In addition to paralleling the geographic location of the song with that of the band name, the similarly titled song, “Good Girls,” circa 2017 offers a different perspective on relationships. “Good Girls” centers around the band’s origin, California, and sounds like an orange sunset in the summer glow. 

The intricate lyrics contrast the dance-y pop choruses and further reiterate LANY’s sound. The maturation of lyrics between “Good Girls” and “Good Guys” depicts the band’s growth both literally and figuratively, and gives us a look into the future for LANY.

Keeping the thematic focus on ‘home,’ “if this is the last time” exudes a nostalgic tone, acknowledging the current state of the world and the delicacy of life. With a more mature lyrical component to the song, LANY displays their growth through songwriting and foreshadows the thematic component of Mama’s Boy

Standing out as one of the only acoustic songs of their discography, the band asks us to focus on the lyrics and the meaning for writing the song. This song demonstrates how many artists cope with their feelings through songwriting and sharing their work for others to relate to. 

The band members’ families serve as important figures in their career as seen through their active participation in the band’s growth and the inclusion of “Parents” in their debut album. “Parents” is a voicemail recording of Goss’ parents showing their appreciation for the drummer’s tattoo reading “parents” within a heart. “if this is the last time” perfectly puts LANY’s devotion to family into words.

As a long-time devoted fan, the band’s newest singles seem to stray from their known sound of late-night drives and young heartbreak and focus more on family and fulfilling relationships. The evolution of a band largely follows the artist’s personal life, and in LANY’s case we see the focus shift from innocence to sophistication. 

As many fans have supported the band since their formation, the shift in lyrical themes seems to then follow their fanbase in their life journey. Possibly the third album will serve as a soundtrack for those abandoning adolescence and entering adulthood.

Featured image via LANY.

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