I picked LANCO as one of the bands to watch in 2016 and two years later, they’re finally releasing their debut album, Hallelujah Nights. While it’s always feels good to be validated about my talent spotting abilities, I don’t think I’ve felt more sure about a band before (except maybe for Old Dominion) and the five songs that were on their EP released last year only cemented my feelings about LANCO before even hearing the entire record.
Opening up the record is the 1-2 punch of “Born To Love You” and “Long Live Tonight” and they both showcase why LANCO was offered their Arista Nashville record deal on the spot by Sony Music executives after a showcase. Blending melodies and sounds which marry the atmospheric sounds of Kings of Leon with Eric Church’s brand of country rock, the former is bound to be the band’s second big hit with radio while the latter has some of the alt. rock sounds of popular bands and sets a great mood. “Pick You Up” has a contemporary, mainstream radio-ready feel to it but it is the true story of “Greatest Love Story” which showed LANCO’s truest potential and became a #1 hit a few weeks before Hallelujah Nights was released.
With mentor Jay Joyce serving as their producer, LANCO benefits from his expert ability to blend fresh sonic sounds to make an ear-pleasing blend of instrumentals backing up the lyrics of frontman Brandon Lancaster. “Singin’ At The Stars” has a classic 2000s country lyric and vocal melody while the instrumentals are more expansive and innovative. “Win You Over” blazes out of the speakers in a wall of atmospheric sound, complete with banjos and a sing-a-long ready chorus. “So Long (I Do)” feels like a country version of The Script and while that might be bad for some people, to me that means it has great melody, lyrics and production, all making for a great slice of modern music, the same which can be said for party rocker “Middle Of The Night,” and the closing title track.
Over the course of the dozen tracks on Hallelujah Nights, LANCO proves why fans have grown to love their brand of country music. It’s wholly contemporary and while it may not exactly be your dad, older brother or your grandfather’s brand of country music, Hallelujah Nights is still very much a record worthy of listening to and should provide LANCO a handful of hits from which to build their career.