Record Label: Universal
Release Date: 2nd October 2020
"Being open about love seems to come easy to the band, but mama’s boy finds the nerve to venture into more vulnerable territories."
From their very conception, LANY have made the kind of music you could fall in love to. Their very first EP I Loved You. back in 2015 was brimming with saccharine declarations of romance and lust, and they’ve been a mainstay of every release since. Five years later, mama’s boy, the trio’s third album, is here. That same heady rush of sweetness remains, but on their third instalment, their growth is more evident than ever.
Faced with a crowd of adoring fans towards the end of the tour for Malibu Nights, frontman Paul Klein found himself with home and family at the forefront of his mind. mama’s boy was born from that yearning for home. Grounded in familiarity and love, it transports the band from the Malibu that has played home to them the last few years, back to their Southern roots.
‘you!’ is the perfect opener: the last we heard from LANY, Malibu Nights, lingered in an unshakeable heartbreak, but ‘you!’ shatters that. It’s a confession of absolute devotion and adoration, and it’s completely beautiful. With classic LANY lyrics about oceans and skies and even a children’s choir in the latter half, if you’re a hopeless romantic, good luck with this one.
Being open about love seems to come easy to the band, but mama’s boy finds the nerve to venture into more vulnerable territories. ‘if this is the last time’ is possibly their most gut-punching release yet. A love letter to his parents and a reminder of ephemerality, it is arguably one of the most important tracks they’ve released. Family has played a significant role in the band’s music so far – drummer Jake Goss’ parents can be heard expressing their love for their son on ‘Parents’ on the band’s debut. It has never been as raw as this, though. It absolutely overflows with a tenderness that we’ve never heard quite so intimately from the band.
It’s playful and uplifting as well as honest – ‘bad news’ is upbeat and tongue-in-cheek, whilst the gorgeous synths of ‘sad’ make it more upbeat than its name might suggest. It is a more optimistic version of the band, signalling their growth and ability to meld their different locations and create one solid sound. mama’s boy has a kind of peacefulness to it; perhaps because it seems to signify newfound contentment for the band.
It’s an album we need right now. With all the best bits of its predecessors, mama’s boy is distinctively LANY, but it throws any uncertainty and displacement we might’ve seen before to the wind. Instead, it’s an open invitation to embrace love and go forth finding it far and wide. So much so, the album seems to almost envelop you in its own affection. It encourages love and expression of it in every avenue of your life, glistening in it on every track. A positivity bleeds through that is completely infectious – try and listen to it without coming out of the other end beaming, I dare you.
Words by Neive McCarthy.
3rd October 2020.