Named for a great-grandfather they never met, Lanford Black draws on the heart of old soul and funk while updating it with a raw grit that’s all their own. Formed by Zach Shaw (lead vocals, guitar), his twin step brothers Josh Phelps (bass, backing vocals) and Ben Phelps (drums), and Forrest Gilchrist (guitar, backing vocals), the ensemble writes songs that incite introspection while still pushing through with a laid back vibe that you can feel in your bones.
Based in Seattle, Lanford Black derives its energy from Shaw’s captivating vocals. Combined with a rhythm section that highlights the interconnectivity between drum and bass, the band works in unison to cut deep grooves that sputter on the edge of breakdown. The tight communication between each part of the group helps to create a seamless flow between one sound and the next. Going beyond simply listening, Lanford Black wants their audience to really feel the music.
Today Glide is premiering the band’s new single “In The Beginning”, which will be officially released on January 19th. The song’s soulful influences are unmistakeable, bringing to mind acts like the Black Keys, Alabama Shakes, Kings of Leon. There is a soulful sound to the tune and a down and dirty groove with a chorus that beckons the listening to dance and sing along. The band also doesn’t hold back on the instrumental side, busting out heavy riffs and bass lines that signal this song is a proper jam vehicle in the live setting. The song was written during the lead up to the 2016 presidential election and finished well after the outcome, with a lyrical timeline spanning some very different moods.
Reflecting on the song, vocalist and guitarist Zach Shaw has this to say:
“The first two verses of ‘In the Beginning’ mirrored conversations that I had with two different people in the lead up to the election, the first of whom I was convinced wanted anarchy. He wanted to show that the American political system is a joke so we might as well elect one to the presidency. The second one sought a shake up from the norm and thought that Trump was a legitimate candidate. The music gets coarser and dirtier as the idea solidifies that the joke was gaining traction, had a chance to win, then actually did win. Then we revert back to the anarchist feelings that were mocked in the first place, ‘fuck it, let’s burn it down.'”
For more music and info visit lanfordblack.com.