Country newcomer LANCO releases their debut album early next year, and yet lead singer and songwriter Brandon Lancaster already has a chance of acquiring an accolade that most established artists fail to achieve. With his breakthrough and unabashedly personal song "Greatest Love Story," Lancaster might become the first lone songwriter in ten years to reach the top of the Billboard Country charts, having composed the piece in his bedroom. The tune is currently in the number five spot and rising.
According to Lancaster, the surging popularity of the delicately intimate song proves that its romantic optimism and occasionally poignant subject matter stem from relatable sentiments and experiences that incrementally compose the collective human condition, and demonstrates that we are all more similar than we might think. These little moments of imperfections and vulnerability are what Lancaster hopes to champion. "I think it’s cool to celebrate the little things in life and make them anthemic - kind of meeting people where they’re at and celebrating that," he says in an interview with Zumic. "My style is just taking the realness of life, the reality of life, and just celebrating it. Even in times of heartache, let's talk about it and shine a light on it, but that doesn’t mean we need to be depressing about it."
Underpinning Lancaster's work is a prudently woven storyline marked with an autobiographical texture. Initial misgivings aside, Lancaster faithfully embraces the "magnifying glass" that has been placed on his personal affairs, and focuses on buttressing the narrative structure of his music in order to make it robust and universal. For the "Greatest Love Story" video, Lancaster involved himself strategically in the production process to ensure that the visuals complemented the song to complete the essential whole of the work. "I just like stories, and I think that videos can tell a story and sometimes fill in the gaps that a song might not be able to do... I wanted to give a visual representation to feeling lost and feeling lonely, realizing what you had. If you can put a visual to that it empowers the song even more."
The album is another avenue that Lancaster has identified for narrative exploration, and the group's upcoming record is no exception. "We believe in the power of the album and the power of a body of work," he says. "Sonically it is eclectic, but there is a cohesiveness to it in it’s stories, as it's really about coming of age and figuring out certain things in life. Figuring out love, questioning love, figuring out not having any money, figuring out how to have a good time in the middle of nowhere, and there are songs about reminiscing and breaking up and missing somebody. If you look there are consistent themes with the characters in the album."
This dedication to craft and thematization of the rugged encounters dotting the path to maturity and wisdom is a paramount link between the band and Nashville figurehead Jay Joyce, who produced their debut LP. According to Lancaster, Joyce's "process fits really well with our music because our music is about reality and about the humanity behind the song, and Jay is all about being real in the recording process. If it’s a guitar solo, or it’s a vocal, he’s really big on that you’re not a robot. There are times when he doesn’t want it to be perfect; if you run out of breath and your voice cracks at the end of the phrase, that’s the one he’s going to keep... you’re a human and it’s cool to hear the human aspect in the recording."
In addition to the release of their upcoming album, LANCO will be touring alongside Dustin Lynch and Chris Young in the coming months, and recently held their debut performance at the Grand Ol Opry. Purchase a copy of their 2016 eponymous EP on Amazon. For concert tickets and more, check out LANCO's Zumic artist page.