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Nothing is random. LANY go to great lengths to assemble each element of their music with a commitment to careful craftsmanship and a fine artist’s attention to detail. The multiplatinum Los Angeles-based duo—Paul Jason Klein [vocals, guitar, keys, production] and Jake Clifford Goss [drums]—create handcrafted pop rock enlivened by big screen-style soundscapes and emotionally charged performances. Logging thousands of hours in the studio, you’ll hear their energy in every note, feel their vision in the production, and see their aesthetic in the merch and stage show (always proudly designed by Paul on his 2015 MacBook Pro!). As a self-contained D.I.Y. creative entity, they’ve consistently evolved without compromise. Once again, they forge ahead on their fifth full-length and very first independent album, a beautiful blur.
“The music is incredibly intentional,” affirms Paul. “We make everything ourselves, and we always have. You’ll get our DNA and thumbprint on everything we do. That’s why LANY is what it is today. So, this album is the last year-and-a-half of my life both musically and thematically.”
It also represents the next step in a natural progression for the group.
Since 2014, they’ve notched four gold singles and a platinum single in between emerging as an acclaimed arena-filling force around the world. At the end of 2021, Paul and Jake commenced work on what would become a beautiful blur. For the first time, the duo bookended the writing process with intermittent global touring throughout 2022. Naturally, the writing sessions absorbed the musicians’ live energy. The guys dug deep into their roots, nodding to formative influences such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, U2, Sting, and The Killers, to name a few.
“We sound like a band more than ever,” he notes. “This was an interesting season because we went on tour for a little bit, came home, wrote, went back on tour, came home, got in the studio, started recording, and went back on tour again. It split everything up for us. We took the energy of what it feels like to be at a LANY show into the recording process. There are a lot of deep references to inspirations that are true and embedded in our souls.”
This time around, the band opted to reunite with producer Mike Crossey [Arctic Monkeys, Twenty One Pilots] who helmed the seminal Malibu Nights in 2018. Referring to Mike as “Coach,” they zeroed in on the musical direction together.
“When we first met Mike, he said, ‘LANY is like an Italian dish. There’s not a ton of ingredients, but the ingredients are absolutely essential, so let’s make them the best they can be’,” recalls Paul. “It was such a beautiful metaphor. We look up to Mike because he’s relentless in his pursuit of excellence.”
The group introduce this era with “Alonica.” On the track, dreamy guitar practically melts into an airy beat as Paul’s voice carries the wistful hook. This slow burn unspools as an escapist fever dream.
“‘Alonica’ is a place inside of yourself,” Paul goes on. “It’s a state of being where you feel satisfied and comfortable. There was a moment in my journey where I felt safest alone. Before you can love anybody else either in a platonic or romantic sense, you need to love yourself. I finally reached a place where I was enough for me. I decided to be happy; nobody was going to decide it for me.”
On the other end of the spectrum, the single “Love At First Fight” turns on a dime from a vulnerable acoustic opening into an upbeat bridge punctuated by a punchy riff and sharply sardonic chorus, “It was sparks at first sight, but it was love at first fight.”
“In a relationship, you learn a lot about a person from the first argument,” laughs Paul. “It’s an indicator of the relationship’s trajectory and whether it’s going to work out or not.”
As the first tune penned for the album, “XXL” stirs with stage-ready spirit boosted by a stadium-size refrain and soaring guitar solo. The sound of a rare Southern California downpour sets tone for “It Even Rains In LA.” Eighties-esque neon keys underline a funky strut as a skyscraping chorus takes flight.
“L.A. is supposed to be paradise, but it still rains here,” he observes. “Everybody has a bad day. Sonically, it’s meant to be a big fucking rock band song.”
Glimmering electronics give way to breezy strumming on “Out of My League.” Holding the notes in a hypnotic high register, Paul confesses, “She’s out of my league in every single way.”
“There’s a sense of nostalgia, but it feels fresh,” he goes on. “My friend had just begun dating this girl, and he liked her so much he was scared to even think about what it would be like to not have her around. It was pure, beautiful, and inspiring.”
Representing another evolution, “(Saturday Night) 3.22am” pays homage to the likes of Fred Again.. and Kygo. Nocturnal beatcraft pulsates, and Paul’s vocals echo, “It’s always summer on the West Coast.”
“We definitely added seasoning and texture to these little moments,” he says. “It’s got a big fat melody and hook, and the title is appetizing. It makes you wonder, ‘What’s this about?’”
In the end, a beautiful blur finds LANY deliberately transmitting an uplifting message.
“a beautiful blur shows optimism,” Paul leaves off. “You hope you make it through and see the light at the end of the tunnel. The idea speaks to almost any human on the planet. We’re all not where we want to be, but we’re not where we used to be and we’re doing our best. I fail. I mess up sometimes, but I try to get things right—hopefully more than I get them wrong. There’s a spirit of resilience and ambition. To me, that’s LANY.”