gg bb xx

gg bb xx

Since forming in 2014, LANY (an acronym for Los Angeles New York, but mostly meant to symbolize the wide swath of country in between) have been celebrated for their earnestness, but they often feel they’re misunderstood. “People think of us as this West Coast indie pop trio, but we're from nowhere and nothing,” says singer Paul Klein. “I'm from Tulsa, Oklahoma. [Drummer] Jake [Goss] is from Bentonville, Arkansas, and [Charles] 'Les' [Priest] is from Poplar Bluff, Missouri.” The group’s last record, their third full-length mama’s boy, was an attempt to take their fans “home to meet the family,” Klein explains, to better understand where they’re from. But gg bb xx, their fourth, is “the plane ride back to your normal, regular life where you live. Nothing really fell apart. Now we're going to get back to what we were doing and who we were.” Musically, too, it is a departure. “mama's boy was a lot of acoustic guitars and organic elements,” Klein says. “It was a real band with dust on the boots. gg bb xx is the antithesis—it's almost all programed computer drums and synth. We made the pop album that LANY would make.” Below, Klein walks Apple Music through gg bb xx, track by track.
“get away” “I've been dating my sweet girlfriend for almost 15 months. I had this thought when I was first dating her: 'How did anybody let you get away?' I think that the feeling is incredibly universal. I think it's the most perfect opening track on any album that we have.”
“up to me” “At least one million movies have been made off this storyline: ‘I can't be with the person that I want to be with. I'm in love with them, but I can't be with them, so I can either die or I can try to move on with my life and see if I can fall in love with somebody else.’ That's what 'up to me' is about. I actually wrote this with David Hodges—he was the main songwriter of Evanescence and he got kicked out of the band right before their humongous album that went triple-gazillion platinum. He got through telling me the whole story, which was heartbreaking, and at the very end he’s like, 'I just wish it was up to me. It wasn't up to me.'”
“never mind, let’s break up” “I watched the Apple documentary on Ed Sheeran where he turns in ÷ and it doesn't have 'Shape of You' on it. The label's like, 'This is an unbelievable album, but it could probably benefit from an uptempo track.' He gets back in the car and he's like, 'I would be totally fucked if I didn't have this singular idea left in the back of my brain.' The next scene cuts to the most streamed song on the internet of all time. So, when we were making the album, I was like, I just want to give ourselves an Ed Sheeran moment/opportunity: Let’s show up on Monday after Friday when we're done with this album and see what falls out. When you separate yourself, you're a bit exhausted and then you just get out of the way and you're just like, 'Oh, let's just see what happens.' And then something always happens.”
“dna” “I wrote this with Dan Smyers from Dan + Shay. He is married to my cousin, and we write songs together now, which is really cool. It was one of those songs that you wrote in an afternoon, and you walked away listening to it like 100 times.”
“roll over, baby” “You’re in a small argument with the person that you love. It's not do or die. It's not make or break. You're not going to wake up tomorrow and pack your things and leave. Someone's feelings are upset, and you've got to provide some clarity and apologize. The song is about three and a half minutes long, and that's probably more time than you need to make something right with the person that you love: 'Hey, roll over. I'm sorry. I was wrong. I messed up; will you please forgive me?' A lot of people told me, 'You can't write a whole song about something so small.' It felt good to do that.”
“live it down” “We live in such a time where everyone is quick to write off everyone as if they've never made a mistake in their entire lives. People aren’t allowed to be people. If this is cancel culture, I want to be as far away as I possibly can. Because the truth is, people are fucking awesome, and they really do stupid things sometimes. That doesn't mean that they don't matter.”
“dancing in the kitchen” “This is our fourth album, and I'm not an expert by any means, but I've noticed that when you start writing for an album, you get a couple songs under your belt and then you start to understand the theme. There's nothing really traditionally glamorous or cool about it. It's just you and your person and it's this real micro moment in life that we skip over probably 99 out of 100 times.”
“ex i never had” “I think most people on planet Earth have either had an experience where someone claimed to have been more involved with you than they really were, or you have a friend that has. It just feels like a big pop song. It has teeth to it. And it's time that we have a little teeth. We've lived enough life and played enough shows and seen enough of the world. But what's funny is that [the song] is Disney or Sesame Street compared to 99% of the songs on the radio.”
“somewhere” “This was one of the earlier songs I wrote for the album. I wrote it with Tobias Jesso Jr. We wanted to write a very universal song that could mean a lot of things to a lot of people. Both Tobias and I are not incredibly tech-savvy, so when we show up to write songs together, we never are on Pro Tools or Logic or anything making beats. But he has a drummer friend who will just record certain drum loops. He played the drum loop in this song, and it legitimately never changed, not once. They reminded me so much of the drums off a D'Angelo record, or J Dilla.”
“care less” “I had just been like, 'I am wasting my life and my energy, and I think hair is falling out of my head. I'm caring too much about stuff I cannot control. I have to get to a point in my life I just care less.' We built the whole song musically first before we wrote any lyrics to it. We're like, 'Damn, this track is alive. Let's dig in and figure out what we want to say.'”
“'til I don’t” “I believe in the principles of marriage, 100%. But in dating relationships, I can't promise you forever. I can promise you I'm going to love you right up until the point that I don't anymore. That is incredibly sincere. That is what happens most of the time. That's my girlfriend's least-favorite song on the album.”
“one minute left to live” “I was driving to John Ryan's studio in Malibu. Knowing that it was my last day to write songs, I was thinking, 'If I had 60 seconds of life left to live, what would I want to say in this last song?' Nothing felt big or substantial or important enough to say. And then I realized that nothing would. Maybe you tell a joke. Instead of this grandiose speech about all the things that you experienced and lessons you learned or the regrets you have, maybe you light a cigarette. Maybe you slow-dance with the person you love. I sat on the guitar and really thought about it. It’s not a typical chord progression or melody that you would hear from us, which is so exciting. It’s a perfect way to end the album.”


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