Starting to write this article on Lyena, i've put on the set they played last week at HOT BOX as part of the Independent Venue Week Festivities. Instantly mesmerised, it could be that fuzzy bass sound. The tight drumming, maybe singer/guitarist Omar shout-singing with full angst while playing his Japanese Fender Jaguar. Or a combination of all three.
Formed in London in late 2018, fast forward two years to nearly that very day and the band are writing their current single 'Keep Swimming'. Four months later it is recorded and released as a single.
'Keep Swimming' was recorded at Bottle Rocket Studios, where the band recorded their last few singles. Omar: "Keep Swimming was written two weeks’ before we were booked to go into the studio and was the first song we had the chance to write as a trio that year. It all started with Dave’s bass line. He just started playing it out of the blue and we were hooked instantly. We wanted to make a track around that bass line, and the drums and guitar developed really organically around it. "
For a three piece, Lyena have a huge sound both live and in the studio. Powerful and energetic, they are more than post punk. Their music is brash yet melodic. Their lyrics tell a story.
'Keep Swimming' starts with by now their trademark fuzzy bass line. No messing around, the vocal is immediate. The intense chorus gives way to a more indie sounding interlude. The guitar riff is reminiscent of Nirvana's 'Love Buzz'. It makes us miss live music.
Omar: "Nothing beats a live show. We really miss being sweaty and up-close with people. When we can be in a crowded room with our shirts off again, that’s when life will be back to normal for us."
Look below to watch Lyena's live performance for HOT BOX: