LANY’s new record “mama’s boy”

I’ve been listening to dream pop group LANY’s latest release mama’s boy a lot recently. It’s a refreshing departure from their usual sad-synth sound that you hear in “Someone Else” and “ILYSB.” Indeed, there’s a real strength to many of the tracks here that I loved.

“you!” is backed by a clear, even drumbeat that explodes as Paul Klein extols how wonderful you are. (The YouTube comments for that song are particularly interesting; some point out that there could even be a religious overtone to that song. After all, the subject did bring Klein back to life and save him from bad dreams.)

I especially loved “my heart won’t let me.” It’s just so urgent. LANY has previously defined itself by being quiet, an echo of the shoegaze era of yore, but in “my heart won’t let me” Klein wrestles with wanting to leave a bad relationship and feeling compelled to stay. The chorus makes it sound like he’s running, he’s really about to leave – but my heart won’t let me.

“cowboy in la” is something of a novelty song. Klein adopts a twang and assures the listener that he’s Not Like Other Guys because, well, he’s a southern transplant who’ll take you out to dinner and ask before he kisses you. I couldn’t help but be charmed by it.

The band has described this album as their growing up and the solid nature of the music here is testament to that. It’s always nice to hear a band find its footing. The soft, even soothing, notes LANY already established provided an unexpectedly fertile place for that to grow without sounding jarring.

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