To celebrate the release of 'twentyseven', we asked producer and multi-instrumentalist LANKS about the top five influences on his stunning debut album.
Australian songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist LANKS (aka Will Cuming) has been a steady presence in the world of Aussie solo artists for a while now. Distilling influences like The XX, Bon Iver and Radiohead into something utterly unique in its sublimity, he has two entirely self-produced EPs under his belt - Banquet and Thousand Piece Puzzle. His 2016 EP Viet Rose saw him team up with Andrei Eremin for a collection of multi-faceted tracks that danced between pounding electronic numbers and introverted minimal cuts.
Back in April, LANKS dropped a video for the title track of his debut album twentyseven. Driven by powerful percussion, it's an explosion of strong emotion and rich production. It's the perfect example of twentyseven, a deeply personal album dealing with his personal anxieties, his relationship with his now wife, and the family and friends that made him who he is today.
twentyseven is out now via THAA Records, and to celebrate, we asked LANKS to give us a peek behind the curtain at the top five influences behind his stunning debut.
Plug into the latest music with our FREE weekly newsletter
Jess' Nan's nylon guitar
Sometimes you just fall in love with an instrument. After studying guitar my whole life, I fell out of love with it a little. My house-mate/bff brought home her nan's guitar after she passed away and it pulled me back in. It's just an old, basic nylon guitar that has strings on it that most people would normally have replaced by now, but it has a lot of soul and character to it. It features across a few tracks on the album.
(Photo via Will Cuming)
Lorde - Green Light
When so much music being released is sad, this song reminded me that you can still make artistically strong music that is euphoric and genuine and not cheesy. twentyseven and 'Comfortable' are loosely inspired by that idea.
A lot of this album was written after my girlfriend got a job at the New York Times office in Sydney and we did 6 months of long-distance. It taught me a lot and challenged me on what was important in my life, ultimately leading to me proposing at the end of the album.
(Photo via Will Cuming)
It wouldn't make sense for the main character of my album not to be a main influence. Most of these songs are written for or about her. There are flashbacks and fast-forwards that explore our journey together, and she is such a strong support throughout my entire creative process.
(Photo by Jess Gleeson)
Jess + Will
My housemates throughout the entire album writing process. They would arrive home every evening and I would show them my sketches and in the end I made an album that was in large part, for them. They helped me filter through hundreds of sketches and know which ones were worth pursuing. The opening track wouldn't even exist if they hadn't pushed me to develop it. Now, it's one of my favourite songs on the album. Jess also sings on the album, and Will did the artwork (in collaboration with Hayden Daniel and my grandma). 'Phoenix Friends' is for these two, who I have such a deep love for. I miss them now that I'm living in Sydney (pleeeease move to Sydney!).
(Photo by Kristoffer Paulsen)
twentyseven is out now via THAA Recordings. LANKS has also announced a national tour in support of his debut, all throughout August. Check out the dates below!
TWENTYSEVEN NATIONAL ALBUM TOUR
Supported by triple j
FR, 03 AUG | JIVE, ADELAIDE SA
SAT 04 AUG | MOJOS, FREMANTLE WA
THU 09 AUG | BLACK BEAR LODGE, BRISBANE QLD
FRI 10 AUG | KINGSCLIFF TAVERN, KINGSCLIFF, NSW
SAT 11 AUG | SOLBAR, MAROOCHYDORE QLD
THU 16 AUG | CAMBRIDGE HOTEL, NEWCASTLE NSW
FRI 17 AUG | THE LANSDOWNE, SYDNEY NSW
SAT 18 AUG | UNI BAR (STRATTON ROOM), WOLLONGONG NSW
SUN 19 AUG | TRANSIT BAR, CANBERRA ACT
THU 23 AUG | SOOKI LOUNGE, BELGRAVE VIC
FRI 24 AUG | THE BRIDGE HOTEL, CASTLEMAINE VIC
SAT 25 AUG | NORTHCOTE SOCIAL CLUB, MELBOURNE VIC
Words by Max Lewis