After we heard the new song from NYC via Melbourne artist LANKS, Cold Blood, we knew we had something rather special on our hands. Glittering electro, soaked in melancholy and with this strumming guitar adding to the realism were enough to draw us in. It was these impossibly catchy melodies, as well as his soaring falsetto sweeping over it that wouldn’t let us go.
Turns out we’re not the only ones, as he’s traversed the world playing shows with a number of the biggest bands around at the moment. We spoke to Will, aka LANKS to find out more.
Hi LANKS, give us your potted history?
I’ve been making music as LANKS for 5+ years after I studied jazz guitar at the Victorian College of the Arts. I grew up in Melbourne, Australia, and toured in Australia before moving to NYC a year ago. It’s been a crazy ride so far, I’ve played shows with Glass Animals, Broods, Ry X, Vera Blue and Rufus Du Sol and I’ve gotten to connect to people across the world with my music (I’ve released multiple EPs and a couple of LPs) and have a new LP coming out in late Feb. In 2020 my song Strangers with Tia Gostelow went gold in Australia also, which was a real highlight for me.
Who inspired you to start making music?
I spent a lot of time collaborating with my grandma, Valda, who was an amazing sculptor and painter. She created the album artwork for quite of my EPs and my debut LP. Valda sadly passed away in 2020. She was a big inspiration behind why I ever made music and was a great encourager of my creativity.
And the one (or maybe two) records that inspired you artistically?
This is always a really hard question. I think Amnesiac by Radiohead is still in my top couple of albums because it hit me when I was pretty young and showed me how varied your view and approach to art can be. You don’t have to fit in neat little boxes all the time.
Picking a more modern one now, I have really melted into a world of Phoebe Bridgers and adore the Punisher album from 2020. These haunting melodies and arresting lyrics stick in your mind and drift in and out of your conscience. Big fan of Phoebe.
If you’re trying to explain who you sound like to someone that’s never heard you, what do you say?
Honestly always found this hard, because I think my work with LANKS is very exploratory. Someone once described it as ‘melancholy you can move to’ and I feel like that’s the most accurate.
Tell us about your new track, Cold Blood?
Cold Blood is my latest. Its an emotional exploration of my relationship. About opening and growing and learning together. Being together in a relationship for a decade really brings up things that come with time — two people moving together and independently through life. You have to be present for each other and make time and have openness and transparency.
Where can we get hold of it?
Cold Blood is on SPIRITS PT. 2, the second half of my double record I finished during COVID. SPIRITS PT.2 will be out on Feb 19 but you can get it on vinyl through my website right now and I’m sending it out straight away.
Tell us how you write? (As a band, do different people have different roles, words / music first, from jamming etc)
This process always changes. Some songs are very introspective and solo experiences, but I have also been very embracing of collaboration over the past few years, writing and producing music for others releases also. When you get in the room with people that spark together it can create serious magic and give me energy. I am somewhat extroverted I think, and draw energy from people.
Tell us about you’re live show? And how much have you been missing it recently?
I just played my first show in Melbourne for a year. It was sold out and had lots of warm and lovely humans in there, and a vibe from people who were yearning for live music and that connection. It was a really special and foreign experience after this time off from it. It gave me a lot more energy.
What can we expect from you in the near future?
SPIRITS PT.2 is out Feb 19, and I’m really proud of this one. There’s also some new music coming from my lo-fi solo guitar project, lindsay, which I launched last year.
Tell us your favourite record(s) that’s rocking your headphones / tour bus / stereo
Everything Alexander Biggs and Big Thief (/Adrienne Lenker) has been on repeat in my headphones this past year (when I’m not listening to Phoebe Bridges). I’ve been loving that organic, lo-fi, intimate singer-songwriter sound lately.
Go follow him on his socials, here
Grown-ish’, ‘Love Victor’ and NBC’s ‘Rise’.