Flashback to 3rd October 2019. The Rhythm Method were playing a show at Network in Sheffield. I was interviewing the band so went upstairs to the green room where I found some lads kicking a football at each other, knocking off the broken fridge door in the process. They introduced themselves as the support band, called LNLYHRTS. ‘That sounds edgy.’ I thought as they offered me a room temperature can of Fosters.
Apparently, that support slot was their first ever live show, you wouldn’t have been able to tell had the lead singer, Tom, not mentioned it between songs.
It’s quite a humbling feeling being present for a band’s first ever gig. Now, obviously, I’m not saying LNLYHRTS are anything like the Beatles, or will ever reach that level of fame, but imagine being there the first time the Beatles ever performed. It could be my claim to fame a few years down the line.
As a music fan, seeing a band you’ve never heard of before can be quite hit and miss. But, seeing LNLYHRTS this night was one of the biggest hits I’ve had recently. So, I decided to force my friendship on them.
LNLYHRTS are an emo-tinged electro-pop duo who pair nostalgic sadboi indie lyrics with beautiful synthy stylings, based in Sheffield. When asked to describe them I say ‘The 1975, but good’. While having only played a handful of shows as of yet, they have released two EPs and have more gigs and releases on the horizon.
Over three months down the line, as I am sat in their living room, I finally get an explanation for the ‘wow that is super edgy’ band name. ‘My friend suggested it when it was still just me recording songs by myself. I didn’t like it to begin with.’ Explains Tom Saxby, lead singer. ‘But, I’ve always liked when bands do something different with the lettering of their name or a song title.’
‘The only reason I can say it out loud is because taking the vowels out makes it sound less sincere and almost sarcastic’ says lead guitarist, Kieran Telford.
Meeting in a lecture while studying at the University of Sheffield, both Tom and Kieran say that after thicker first interaction, they knew they’d found their new best friend.
And then they didn’t speak for months.
After bumping into each other again and bonding over a mutual love of music and finding out they were both in bands already, LNLYHRTS was formed.
Like most in their early 20s, Kieran and Tom credit their love of music to their parents, but neither started playing instruments until they were 15. ‘When I was 11 I’d be listening to music and pretending to play a tennis racket like a guitar in front of the mirror. And I was writing songs before I’d ever picked up a guitar.’ Says Tom. ‘My dad was into Joy Division and New Order and stuff like that, which got me into music. He’d always play Carpet Crawlers by Genesis in the car. That’s an awful song.’
Kieran explains that while Tom naturally fell into the role of a lead singer, he always wanted to be a lead guitarist, investing in his first Fender Telecaster and guitar pedals before even having a band to play in. ‘My dad introduced me to Pink Floyd and I started learning songs from Youtube initially. My mum just listened to proper 80s classics like Spandau Ballet which I liked. Then a lot of Shania Twain.’
While Tom is the main singer and songwriter of the band, both have a huge input musically and have yet unreleased songs that Kieran wrote and sings. Tom explains that during live shows, the general rule is that whoever is singing the song wrote it.
Many of LNLYHRTS tunes have a very personal and nostalgic element to them, and it’s this nostalgia that makes the lyrics relatable to most people of a certain generation. ‘All the lyrics are completely how I feel, and they’re like a narrative where I reference back to things I’ve said in the past. They become a bit self-aware.’
When discussing where they’d like to go as a band, Tom said ‘Rotherham’. Kieran elaborates somewhat and says that they both want music as their career and aren’t ashamed to admit that. ‘I’d be impossible to lie and say we don’t want that. We want to have people feel the same way about us as we do about certain bands.’
‘Venue wise I’d love for us to play Deaf Institute in Many, it’s one of my favourite venues in the north, and Brixton Academy because that’d just be mental’.
Tom agrees but says he doesn’t think that far ahead, ‘I’d just like to headline Cafe Totem, it’s only down the road.’
Even though they have only just begun playing live shows, LNYHRTS know what they’re doing, what their goals are, and how they’re going to get there. ‘The most important part of the band is that we are best friends, it’s like a marriage so we know how to communicate with each other to get things done properly.’
LNLYHRTS next gig is at Network on 22nd Feb supporting Paris Youth Foundation, with their next single ‘Cars, Homes, Kids’ being released very soon.
Ticket link to next gig – https://www.fatsoma.com/scruffoftheneck/eixrk8j6/paris-youth-foundation-special-guests