Since the band’s formation in 2014, LANY has always delivered its listeners with exactly what they want to hear: sincerity, relatability and most importantly, consistency. Nonetheless, LANY is still flexible between its now four albums and four EPs, all of them embody and convey varying themes while refusing to stray too far from what its fans have grown to know and love.
The band’s last record, mama’s boy, took listeners into the depths of childhood, maturation and like always, the hardships of heartbreak and often the discomfort that accompanies both love and lust. Lead singer Paul Klein tells Apple Music that its fourth full length studio record, gg bb xx, is the “antithesis” of the latter, given it’s composed of programmed computer drums and synths, whereas mama’s boy, “was a lot of acoustic guitars and organic elements.”
With a total of 12 songs and a runtime of 38 minutes, LANY has no time to waste on gg bb xx, and the trio doesn’t, as all are undeniably satisfactory tracks. However, the standout track of the album is undetermined as the superiority of one over another remains unclear. It’s widely known which songs took precedence over the others on previous albums as, LANY had “ILYSB,” Malibu Nights had “Malibu Nights” and mama’s boy had “if this is the last time.” Per contra, the verdict of what track makes gg bb xx exceptional is ambiguous to each listener.
Here are the five best tracks from gg bb xx.
5. “dancing in the kitchen”
“dancing in the kitchen” was LANY’s first single to be launched as a promotion for the album, and the decision came with good reason. The synths found in a lot of LANY’s tracks can frequently sound quite similar. The same goes for “dancing in the kitchen,” an uplifting, light song with an energetic, yet steady tempo. It’s comparable to others on the record, but its message is simplistic, effortless and still impactful.
Klein tells Apple Music that he’s singing about a “micro moment in life that we skip over probably 99 out of 100 times.” The micro moment in question is exactly what it seems: dancing in the kitchen or more metaphorically, doing nothing with your significant other and still enjoying every moment, despite having done and seen greater things together. “dancing in the kitchen” is unarguably the epitome of the common theme of always being okay and content if the person you love is beside you. As Klein sings, “I could spend a thousand nights right here inside this room / Swear the only one I want is you / And it doesn't matter what we do / We could have nothing at all / And it'd still feel like nothing's missing,” his feelings are clear.
4. “ex i never had”
The eighth track on the record is favorable for both the relatability found embedded in the lyrics, and also the wavering tempo as the song shifts from the bridge to the chorus, from moderate to lively.
Klein describes “ex i never had” as “having teeth to it. And it’s time that [LANY] [has] a little teeth.” It’s defensive and rationally so. The song depicts a “situationship” in which the other partner has gone off and “claimed to have been more involved with you than they were,” as Klein so perfectly puts it. Whether you have been the one distorting and inflating the magnitude of the situation, or someone has done it to you, you have probably experienced it one way or another, and that’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
Klein sings, “I didn't think I had to let you know we were done / We weren't together so how could we break up / You got the chance to tell everybody your side / It's my turn to tell 'em mine,” and that's what he does. After listening, it's evident Klein has made his argument audible.
3. “up to me”
“up to me” is certainly one of the more popular tracks on the list. It has a sanguine tune, with bittersweet undertones due to the content of the lyrics. A lot of life’s happenings are out of our individual control, which is what LANY explores in “up to me.” Throughout the chorus, Klein spells out all the things he would do with a former lover if it were up to him, only to denote it isn’t.
A pill even harder to swallow, is listening to Klein sing about his new interest and the feelings he has toward her but makes sure to reveal that she will never be “her.” The lyrics read, “I keep lookin' for a problem but there's nothin' wrong / The only problem is I can't turn her into you.”
Following a poignant love affair, moving on is always the hardest, but Klein tells Apple Music he can either die or try to move on and see if he can fall in love with somebody else, which is ultimately what he tried to do following his public break-up with Dua Lipa. Currently, he is in a 15-month-long relationship with his new partner. Equally as difficult is having to repress every accomplishment or feeling you want to share with your ex which Klein scrutinizes in the lines, “I got my first check, you always said I'd make it / Have you heard they're playin' LANY on the radio? / Wish you were with me celebratin' out in Malibu.”
2. “one minute left to live”
It’s only appropriate “one minute left to live” is the closing track on the album. LANY’s ballads are always purposeful, insightful and thought-provoking. With an emphasis on Klein’s vocals and infused piano synths, the whimsical tune leaves listeners wondering what they would do if they had a minute left on Earth.
Klein, abiding by the overarching theme of love and devotion, declares it isn’t always the grand gestures that are the most influential on an individual’s life, but those micro-moments, such as what was probed in “dancing in the kitchen.” Klein says, “Maybe you tell a joke. Maybe you light a cigarette. Maybe you slow dance with the person you love.” He exemplifies his thought process on the track, singing, “As long as you're the one I'm with / Blessed for it to end like this / Doesn't matter where we are / 3 AM inside your car.” “one minute left to live,” is honest and for that reason, paramount in LANY’s discography.
The track begins with drummer Jake Goss deliberately drumming, indicating Klein has something to say.
“somewhere” is another track with a truly substantial sense of the struggles of dependency and the insecurity one feels when growing up, getting out of a relationship or simply finding themselves. Klein relays in a very powerful tone of voice that he is not quite the person he wants to be, just yet, but he’s finally “getting somewhere,” a universal feeling every growing person can relate to.
“somewhere” is an allusion to LANY’s previous album mama’s boy in the sense it is a track about taking off, leaving “home” -- whether home be a person, a feeling or actual place -- and discovering who one is without those familiar factors playing a role in everyday life.
Klein sings, “All of my life, I've been searching for something / I give everything and I end up with nothing.” He also tells Apple Music that LANY is misunderstood as a “West Coast indie pop trio,” but that the band is really from “nowhere and nothing,” something Klein likely had to discover and acknowledge about his identity in the public eye, for him to heal and grow as a human and artist. The track is perfect, calculated and telling about not only Klein, but about each listener’s inner self as well.