Currently based out of New Orleans, Lawn are very much a multi-national affair. Consisting of Rui DeMagalhaes from Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela and Mac Folger from Nashville, Tennessee, their influences are equally widespread, from the sounds of British post-punk pioneers to New Zealand’s jangling pop scene. The band first emerged in 2016, and by 2018 had caught the ear with their boldly titled debut album, Blood On The Tracks. More recently they returned in 2020 with their second record, Johnny, an album they describe as being created, “with a sense of ease and composure”. Approaching the follow-up Bigger Sprout, released last month via Born Yesterday Records, the band wanted to do something different, embracing urgency and immediacy, the record was written, rehearsed, and recorded in less than a month, including new material alongside re-workings of their first ever EP, Big Sprout.
Urgency wasn’t just a recording technique for Lawn though, it’s also a catalyst for change, a theme they explore throughout, Lawn are careering forward, whether they’re wanting to make it, settle down, become better people or grow up, they’re always in a rush. Take the opening track, Down, it’s a song about the need to move on from a romanticised version of the past so you can exist in the present, as to a backing of stop-start guitars and tumbling drums they sing, “I’m holding onto something It’s not the perfect someone It’s just the feeling I can’t hold onto when I’m away”. As well as the subtle urgency, there are more obvious moments, like the frenetically lo-fi Medicine Forever or the angular Night Life, which would sit nicely alongside the likes of Terry or Sauna Youth. One song that seems to go against the theme, at least musically, is the delightfully languid closing track, Familiar, it has a touch of Darwin Deez as the guitars play out like a drifting dream beneath the melancholic vocals as they wonder what it would be like to be self-confident, “wonder what it’s like, to feel like what they show on the outside“. Lawn have spoken of the differences in their songwriting, yet this never feels like two disparate voices, instead it’s a partnership that brings out the best in both men, two musical minds combining into something quite magical.
FTR: For those who don’t know who are Lawn?
Lawn is a band from New Orleans. It was started by Mac, myself, and our friend Nick Corson in 2016 after moving into a house together. We have released an EP and two LPs since then. There have been some personnel changes along the way but ultimately Mac and I (Rui) have been the primary songwriters and constant members.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
We believe it was with Caddywhompus at a venue called Siberia here in New Orleans – which doesn’t exist anymore. We made it a point to only play a show after rehearsing for a while and having recorded something to show for it. We remember it being pretty awesome and us sounding quite well, which was a change for any band that we had fronted prior to that point.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
Rui: Besides the fact that I’ve wanted to play in bands since I was 10, I am just not good at any other art form. I recently started dabbling in graphic design and it has been a good reminder of why I picked up a bass instead.
FTR: What can people expect from the Lawn live show?
I think that we sound pretty true to our records. We have made it a point in the past to not stray too far from what rehearsals sound like, so we are mostly inclined to say that if you have listened to our albums you already have a good clue of what we sound like onstage. This may change in the future as we explore new ideas, but for now what we said is pretty accurate. We also talk a lot offstage but not too much onstage.
FTR: What’s next for Lawn?
A couple of beers. Also, we are taking some of these songs on the road very very very soon!
They Listen To…
Meth Teeth – World Is Going To End Soon
Kiwi Jr. – Murder in the Cathedral
Residente – René
Helado Negro – Fantasma Vaga
Pissed Jeans – Human Upskirt