Since their formation in 2014, the Los Angeles-based trio have made a name for themselves producing atmospheric and minimalist songs with truthful and relatable lyrics. On their latest EP, the band explore personal themes and events in greater detail while also developing and refining their style. This is evidenced in ‘like you lots’, the first track on the EP. The track is faster paced and more cheerful compared with previous LANY tracks like ‘ILYSB’ and ‘Walk Away’, and musically it sets the tone for the rest of the EP.
Meanwhile ‘yea, babe, no way’ continues with the light, sunny musical style of the opening track while being lyrically more reflective and downcast. The song tackles with the end of a relationship and the difficulties of maintaining contact. In the pre-chorus, a dejected Paul Klein asks “How did we get this far? And still not know who we are. Is this really over?” and concludes that it is best to avoid calling one another despite how difficult it is. Compared LANY’s previous breakup songs like ‘Someone Else’ and ‘I Don’t Care’, the lyrics are more descriptive and melancholic, and give us a deeper understanding of what went wrong.
Elsewhere, ‘pink skies’ emphasises the importance of standing by one another unconditionally and accepting each other’s flaws, as seen in lyrics such as “We can work it out. You and I are meant to be together. This is how it’s supposed to feel. I’m in love with how this feels.” The song is serene and laidback, with gentle synths and a steady guitar riff in the background. Out of all the tracks on kinda, it bares the most resemblance to the 90s inspired R&B that LANY are known for and illustrates the band’s success in building upon their already successful formula.
The EP finishes with the outstanding ‘WHERE THE HELL ARE MY FRIENDS’. The song deals with issues including friendship, human interaction and fitting in, and is an honest insight singer Paul Klein’s life, who formed LANY after moving from Nashville to Los Angeles. In the chorus, Klein exclaims “Am I starting to hate California? Why am I in LA? 40 million in California, No one cares if I stay”, reflecting the disadvantages of moving to a major city. On the surface, the track is catchy and upbeat, but it is more sincere than it appears at first glance.
Overall, kinda is LANY’s best and most diverse EP to date. It retains many of the lyrical themes that have appeared in previous releases while giving a more detailed look into the life of the band. LANY’s rise has been helped in no small part by providing tour support for the likes of X Ambassadors, Troye Sivan and Ellie Goulding, as well as signing with Polydor Records late last year. However, with this album touring across Europe and North America will almost certainly result in LANY becoming a bigger and more recognised band in their own right.By James Baker