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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

LANY Rocks The House of Blues

Lead+singer+Paul+Jason+Klein+of+LANY.

Lead singer Paul Jason Klein of LANY.

In the last few years, the alternative music scene has spat out more than a few indie-alt-pop groups who want to combat their poppy flare and up their edginess factor by writing vague lyrics and creating black and white music videos. To The 1975, The Neighbourhood, and bands along those lines: I’m looking at you. That is not say that I dislike these bands’ music or their image, but they are exactly the reason why LANY is such a breath of fresh air.  

On Oct. 11, LANY brought their good vibes and catchy tunes to the House of Blues. Lead singer Paul Jason Klein was very playful and a feel-good of a performer as their setlist was. He had a constant smile on his face, non-stop dance moves that come completely naturally when enjoying the electronically and “dream pop” influenced alternative tracks. He even kept the rhythm of songs by tapping his microphone on his head with a mischievous look on his face. LANY was having fun, and so was the audience.

LANY is a three-piece alternative band from Los Angeles with apparently no real desire to be the “edgy” band their peers want to be. LANY writes love songs, pure and simple. The cover artwork for their EPs are of colorful California coastlines at sunset and vivid pink flowers pictured beneath a perfectly cloudless blue sky. This is a band who embraces the colorful, the happy, and the mainstream pop music influences that many bands seem to downright fear and reject (cue the black and white photoshoot). With LANY, the lyric “I love you so bad” from their hit “ILYSB” is about as complex as you need to get to express your feelings for someone. And that’s why they work.

LANY’s lyrics are incredibly descriptive without the lyrical wordiness of some of the other bands. Verses are almost conversational in nature, something that Klein has explained he previously had doubts about, but that’s what gives them the sound of earnest and real devotion. “You are my favorite everything” and “shut up, I love you, you’re my best friend” are lines from the standout track “Pink Skies.” They may not read like poetry, but they sure sound like poetry when Klein sings them. He does so in a way that’s both strong and delicate, backed by guitar, rhythmic beats, and dreamy synths and keyboards. His voice is simple and unassuming enough to be beautiful.   

Klein’s stage presence is impressive. He is a leading man who never seems to stop moving from one side of the stage to the next, even while balancing his guitar- and keyboard-playing responsibilities with his vocal ones. He kept the crowd invested throughout the entire show, even during slower tracks like “Hericane.” Stripped down, this part of the set was clearly emotional for Klein. Fans noticed and commented, “He’s really feeling this one.” In a rare moment for Klein, he performed the song on his piano with his eyes closed and forehead wrinkled in pain. He showed off the range of his voice in a way far grander than he had during the previous tracks of the night.   

LANY truly proved they are a band to keep an eye on as they continue touring their debut self-titled album, which followed a few EPs. They write, record, mix, and master their own songs. The lack of outside influences is evident in the way the songs seem unapologetic with the emotions they convey. LANY isn’t here to make you feel cool and edgy while listening, but rather, to “feel like you’re dancing in your underwear in an empty apartment with the one you love.” There is a fearlessness to their message that, yes, love and happiness are perfectly fine subject material. Next time you feel like dancing, or even just smiling, I absolutely recommend giving this sunny, California-sounding band a listen.