There is a fascination over flowers that’s hard to miss, and then, there are the melancholic photos of inanimate objects, cityscapes faded, alternated with band photos and palm trees at dusk. Each of alt-rock band LANY’s members, Paul Klein, Les Priest and Jake Goss, have a highly personal yet curiously on-brand Instagram account. You gotta wonder, what was the brief?
It seems, to LANY, it just comes naturally. When the host at today’s press conference in Manila asked about the font they use, they just said, “It’s the LANY font.” But of course. There’s a Metallica font, a Def Leppard font, and there’s a LANY font. It’s been a while since we’ve had a band that was at once so on point at branding and so unconsumed by it. Their collective persona — a thinking, feeling, tech-savvy millennial who cares about neon lights, palm fronds and pop culture — is pretty universal anyway. And this is why it works. This is why after just three years, and even before launching an actual album, LANY has converted hundreds of thousands of people to their cult of quiet cool.
This year, they came out with their self-titled debut album, which includes their hit ILYSB (I Love You So Bad) — they like acronyms, millennial lingo, emojis, and references to memes. That’s just another facet to that whole band personality, which, to a new fan might at first come as a surprise, given that Paul looks like a ‘90s grunge singer who wouldn’t be caught dead taking a photo of a flower, let alone posting it. But as they say, looks can be deceiving.
LANY is not aesthetics and social media savvy; they’ve been playing music their whole lives and they take it very seriously.
“When we started LANY we kind of discovered our sound together. We just sat in a room one day and thought, ‘This is something.’ And we try to stay on that path we’ve been on,” says Les. “We like to treat our writing process as a day job. I can’t remember the exact quote but it’s like, ‘Real artists are real professionals.’ We work from 8 to 5, so we set some timeslots back home. We don’t really sit around and wait for the wind to blow in a certain direction, or the lights to get to certain angle.”
Paul adds, “It’s super important to us that we put out a debut album that had a lot of new material. I think the best thing about our debut album is that it’s the best of what we do.”
The music comes from a place of gratitude, which in turn, comes from their very recent experience of being an unknown band playing at a sold-out festival. “We had played at a few festivals where nobody was there for us,” says Les. “But Wanderland (last year), we weren’t headlining, but it felt like it a little bit. To start with Yea, Babe, No Way, and for everybody to know that first verse, it was really special.”
Fans can rest assured that there won’t be any extreme musical experimentation any time soon. However popular they’ve gotten in such a short period of time, LANY will always be writing about the things you care about. Love. Heartbreak. Making out. Family. No filter. “I’ve never been embarrased for being honest. I’ve never regretted being honest or telling the truth. I think, lyrically, we’re here today because of speaking openly and candidly about our emotions and our experiences. I think it’s pretty appreciated,” says Paul, who wrote ILYSB during a time in his life when he felt like he was “more invested in a relationship.” “I was giving away more than I was getting back, and I wrote very candidly about that,” he said.
The thing about LANY is, at first it will seem too stylized — whether visually, through their pages, or aurally, through their music. You will think they’re trying to be too ‘80s while trying to look ‘90s. You will think it’s a little bit too simple. You will think it’s all a bit contrived. But while thinking of these contradictions you will have already listened to their song for the nth time on the radio without realizing it. Between the bluntness of “he’s a total dick” (The Breakup) and the philosophy of “if this is love, I don’t want it” (Super Far), you will have unwittingly learned the words because they speak to you. One day, you’ll catch yourself posting a photo of flowers because they’re just so damn poetic.
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LANY will be performing at the Ayala Malls this coming weekend. Catch the trio at Glorietta on August 4, 7pm; August 5 at Greenbelt (3pm) and Alabang Town Center (7pm); and Market! Market! And Trinoma on August 6, at 3pm and 7pm, respectively.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/AyalaMalls or contact the One Ayala Hotline at 795-9595.