NEXT TO YOU
Released on 15th April, Next To You is the 5th release from Manchester-based four-piece band Lyerr.
Press play on this one and you’ll find it very hard to argue with the band’s description of the song as a “groovy, sing-a-long earworm”. There’s a real sense of immediacy about the whole song right from the start – the track arrives promptly, with a gentle but fast-paced layered guitar riff and lovely crisp rimshots; after a few bars this develops into a more pulsing groove before the backing subtly drops away and lead singer Ryan Johnson comes in with his fervent, strident vocals.
Ryan sings with a clear north-western twang, but not in an overly-affected way: it’s good and honest, and while there are clear reflections of past indie bands in the band’s music, Lyerr seem to taking this foundation and putting their own clear mark on it – standing on the shoulders of giants, and creating great and really listenable new music.
As the track develops, the chorus emerges, playing on the groove and taking it in subtly new directions thanks to the introduction of some new instrumentation and sounds. There’s a surprising amount going on here – it’s more than simple drums and guitar. I particularly like the synth sounds supplemented perfectly with touches of ride cymbal in the key parts of the chorus. It’s a very neatly packaged song, coming in well under 2 minutes. It feels tightly but naturally edited, too – there’s nothing superfluous here. For example, the band clearly felt no need for a token guitar solo, and the song’s no worse for that.
Lyrically there’s a nice sense of yearning as the band plays with the idea of feeling out of place and struggling to move on. There’s also some great use of rhyme and rhythm to paint pictures right from the start:
Let’s get away to our favourite place in the evening,
I heard on the grapevine you’re leaving,
On your own …
The track was recorded with Gavin Monaghan at Magic Garden Studios, where The Blinders, Editors and Stone have previously laid down tracks, and you can hear that lineage coming through, but again, with a unique twist.
Having recently supported Shambolics in Manchester, Lyerr are planning a headline tour through May and June – keep an eye on their website and social media for details.
Ryan Johnson – Vocals/Guitar
Samuel Greene – Guitar
Rory Magner – Bass
James Kershaw – Drums
Words by Phil Taylor for The Songbird HQ
Photo credit – @asupremeshot