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Video exclusive! Enjoy the last weeks of summer with Lanu's 'Fly Away'


1st Jan 2015 Music

Video exclusive! Enjoy the last weeks of summer with Lanu's 'Fly Away'

Extend your summer with the tropical sounds of Lanu. Featuring the vocal and lyrical stylings of Melanie Pain 'Fly Away', he's bringing exotica back.

Lanu joins the influx of South Pacific groups storming the UK music scene at the minute. He's in good company among the likes of The Avalanches, Tame Impala, Courtney Barnett and Unknown Mortal Orchestra—all of whom bring with them something completely different. Lanu brings an updated version of gorgeous, sun-shining exotica.

As a term, you might not be aware of exotica, but as a genre, you've definitely heard it. It's the kind of laid-back music that conjures images of Hawaii and Southeast Asia; beaches, palm trees, and piña coladas. 

It first became popular after WWII, when US servicemen returned home with tales of faraway lands and a musical impression. However, the first exotica wasn't necessarily native music. It may have be composed using native instruments whose foreign sounds left you feeling, well, exotic, but it was first created by white Americans.

These sounds were the aural equivalent to postcards, and the visions they created in the imaginations of listeners have filtered down into public consciousness, influencing everyone from Elvis to the creators of SpongeBob Squarepants.

It all feels very nostalgic now. Afterall, travel is easy to do, the internet gives us a pretty decent idea of previously unknown lands, and for better or worse, little is left to the imagination. 

New Zealander Lanu is aware of this and sees it as a challenge to bring exotica to the 21st century without it being too retro or insincere. Exotica is very much in his blood, his grandfather Bill Wolfgramm (who released the first LP record pressed in New Zealand) was famed for his blend of steel guitar and Hawaiian stylings.

Lanu's new single 'Fly Away' does deal in nostalgia relying on many of the tropes of Exotica: "Climb to the top of the tallest palm with me… Hear the sweet creak of the wood, hear the sea" sings Melanie Pain over a steel guitar and ukulele.

Pain's vocals and a huge drum beat keep the single sounding up to date, giving it a sumptuous pop feel. This sun-drenched tune is strong enough to keep the last days of British Summer bright—even if we're a little rain-drenched—and is evocative enough to let ourselves drift to those far out exotic fantasy beaches.

'Fly Away' is released on 23 September

Keep an eye out for Lanu's album Double Sunrise later this year

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