It’s pronounced lay-nee, and it is an acronym for Los Angeles New York. With a name implying transcontinental aspirations, you may well expect LANY to draw heavily upon the disparate musical styles that the United States is home to. A bit of LA’s glossy pop, a little New York gritty rock, a touch of the heartland’s roots and folk stylings, and a taste of the infamous East Coast/West Coast rivalry in the beats. That sort of thing.
Instead, the trio of Paul Klein (lead vocals, keyboard, guitar), Jake Clifford (drums, percussion), and Les Priest (backing vocals, keyboard, guitar) choose to walk a very narrow electro-pop path. LANY opens strongly enough with Dumb Stuff, a pithy two-and-a-half minute love song that’s all bubbling synth lines and strong beats. Clifford’s drumming is spot on, with the groove of a real drum-kit grounding the track and counterpointing the electronic elements perfectly, while Klein delivers the knowingly clichéd lyrics in a suitably unadorned fashion.
It’s difficult to gauge whether Dumb Stuff would make such a strong impression if it wasn’t the album’s first track, as the rest of the record’s songs are cut from the same sonic and thematic cloth. Lyrically the song’s all revolve around relationships – or perhaps, one perpetually on-again off-again relationship – from the twee expressions of ILYSB (I Love You So Bad) and Pancakes, through to the troubling sentiments of Flowers on the Floor. In the latter’s case, the lines “the bones above my cheeks/are gonna break the skin if you try to let me go” border on the cusp of emotional blackmail via threats of self-harm/neglect.
Running to nearly an hour, LANY is entirely too long given the mono-tonal musicality and lyrical content. Among the album’s tracks, there is a solid EP waiting to get out, and LANY would have been better served releasing that than the sixteen tracks they have offered up as their début LP. LANY need to tighten up their song selection process while loosening their sonic constraints.