“So it was really fun to kind of put myself in shoes that I’ve been in three or four, five years ago or put myself in someone else’s shoes.”
Many artists were on a roll during the pandemic, and LANY was no exception. They found the inspiration to put out one project after the other, as the world slowly opened up and live shows were a lot more possible. The three-piece band led by Paul Jason Klein released mama’s boy October of last year. Yet a month after the release of their country-pop album, the band found themselves back in the studio to work on the next big thing.
In an exclusive press interview, we caught up with the frontman on LANY's journey of writing another full-length record right after the success of mama’s boy, titled gg bb xx.
Paul compared their previous album to taking a relationship to the next level: meeting the family and showing a different side to you no one has ever seen—a peek to their roots often hidden. The antithesis to that record is gg bb xx, the band’s newest 12-track album. Months in the studio lead to them creating blast-worthy tracks and upgrading from their bedroom pop beginnings. LANY pivoted from the presence of acoustic instruments and went back to their sugary pop melodies and enthralling synths on an even larger scale.
gg bb xx has an abundance of heartbreak anthems and love songs, much like Malibu Nights. But these songs aren’t based on Paul’s stories alone. This time around, he turned the unique experiences of their collaborators into personal, relatable anthems. “For the last 16 months, for the most part, I’ve been sitting on my couch watching Netflix, minding my own business. And I can’t write, like, 12 songs about sitting on the couch.” Paul shared when he was asked about the inspiration for this album, “So it was really fun to kind of put myself in shoes that I’ve been in three or four, five years ago or put myself in someone else’s shoes.”
The track called up to you was inspired by David Hodges’ abrupt exit from Evanescence, days before the release of their album Fallen (and despite being a significant contributor). Paul reimagined his story in a more relatable context, filled with wishful thinking after a one-sided breakup. Following suit, the tracks of gg bb xx were written as stories, translated clearly through their descriptive lyrics that paint a picture as you listen.
This ties to LANY’s very visual and picturesque music. It encourages you to imagine and dream with their soft, candied sounds as the backdrop. When we asked Paul to describe the record as a color or a movie scene, he pointed us back to the album art. “I have never seen an album look just like the way music feels. I mean, the motion blur coming off the back of the head, and all of the mix of colors like the warm pinks and oranges matched with the cool temperature of the purples and the blues and the greens. I think that would be it. That would have to be what it is.” If that’s the case, gg bb xx is an album that follows no clear path. It’s random and unpredictable at each turn, making it a clear reflection of human emotion.
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Paul says that LANY’s goal with their music is to “try to make people’s lives just one percent better. We hope you love it; we hope it makes you feel good. We hope that you feel like you’re not alone and that whatever you’re going through, know that I’ve gone through it and other people have gone through it. And that you’re going to make it.”
While our side of the world slowly opening up, there's still a lot of uncertainty. But at least gg bb xx will be our guiding album through the push and pull of it all.
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver