LYLO move again after six year hiatus

LYLO have been relatively quiet since they released Post Era in 2018, but new album Thoughts of Never is a bold return for the Scottish trio. They tell us all about it…

Photo credit: Alexander James-Aylin

[GC]: You’re about to release your new album, Thoughts of Never. How are you feeling ahead of the release?
[LYLO]: All and all, we’re feeling great and are immensely excited. It’s been a long time coming, so naturally there’s also a fair bit of nerves. The entire process of making a record can feel kind of abstract at points – it’s a lot of emailing and sending files and talking logistics – but then the vinyl arrives and it all comes to life. It’s an amazing feeling to be sharing music again.

It’s your first album since 2018. What made you decide to take a six year gap between albums and how has this shaped you as a band?
The hiatus wasn’t planned, it just kind of happened that way. Following Post Era we had been touring for some years, which lead us right up to the pandemic. Then the shows stopped and writing began. We lived in different cities so the entire writing process was new, and given the circumstances, quite a bit slower. But, like for many people, that was a very introspective time, and I think for us that really benefited the music. For the first time in a while, we felt more connected to our music and our mutual vision. I think we just needed to take a step back. In our case we were forced to step back, but luckily it has affected our music and creative process in a very positive way.

You have an eclectic range of influences on this album, from Japanese inspired pop soundscapes to nods to R&B. Where did these influences originate from and what was the process of fusing them to form your own unique sound?
The three of us write music, and listen to a lot of music, so the influences are hard to trace sometimes. But, we definitely all share a love for cinematic sounds, and to be honest, have a tendency to romanticise most things in life, ha. I wouldn’t say that we ever consciously try to fuse genres as such, we’re just interested in what sounds and textures complement one another. Sometimes it’s very clear to us and it happens so organically, other times it’s a lot of trial and error.  

How did you go about deciding which songs you would release as singles ahead of the full album?
After completing the album, it felt very clear to all of us that ‘Hush’ and ‘If The Light Is On’ we’re obvious choices for singles. But single three wasn’t an easy decision. We feel that most tracks on the album have single potential. But after a lot of coin tossing, we settled on ‘We Move Again’ as it’s the most dancey and driving track on the record. Felt like a fun one to release before we drop the album. 

What themes do you think define the album? Are there any lyrical topics that reappear on multiple tracks?
The general themes cover loneliness, melancholy in a metropolis, a longing to reconnect, disbelief and detachment from reality. The stories and lyrical content change from song to song, I guess. But there’s a few common references. At the time of writing the record I was loving the idea of incorporating some theatrical terms into the songs. Also, the themes of anxiety, self-doubt and soul-searching are highlighted by the questions peppered throughout the record.

The record was written with members residing in both Berlin and Glasgow, how did this influence these themes and topics that emerged in the lyrics?
I think most themes of this record were very directly influenced by the fact that we were in different cities. We missed each other a lot, and missed making music together. Working on this album gave a great deal of purpose at a time when we all felt quite lost, and helped us to process our own anxieties and questions about things. I think ‘If The Light Is On’ is the most honest and direct reflection of this.

What should people expect from your upcoming album launch shows?
The album launch shows are going to be a blast. People can expect to hear the entire album (minus one song) played by a six-piece band…plus some special guests. The album was written in a studio setting without us ever really playing the tracks live, so it’s been so fun to bring the whole thing to life and for us to experience these songs in a new way.

Following these shows, what else have you got coming up in 2024 to look forward to?
Going to be spending the rest of the year just playing live shows, enjoying ourselves and getting people onto Thoughts Of Never. We’re playing Pop Mutations festival in Glasgow in the summer, and we’re currently in the process of organising a run of shows in UK and Europe in September and October. If all goes to plan, we’ll end the year finishing up some new music. This hiatus was good, but we don’t plan on having another one anytime soon. 

Thoughts of Never is out now via El Rancho Records.

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