Last weekend, the gravitas of The Lathums’ monumental rise finally sunk in as they stepped foot onto the Sarah Nulty Main Stage at Tramlines Festival in Sheffield to be greeted by a sea of fans as far as the eye could see. Just when life couldn’t get any sweeter, they announce the details of their debut album, How Beautiful Life Can Be, which arrives through Island Records on September 24th.
The pandemic could have been the thorn in the band’s side, halting their momentum. However, the nation’s thirst for new music has never been stronger than over the last eighteen months, and The Lathums have been a lockdown discovery for thousands.
Not only have they garnered an army of new fans, but rather than spending endless hours in the back of the van playing sweat pits in a bid to work their way up the ladder gradually, the Wigan band have operated tirelessly in the studio. Their sound has matured, and their last single, ‘How Beautiful Life Can Be’, epitomises their growth.
The last time I caught up with the band was in September at their rehearsal room in their hometown, and a lot has changed since then. They’ve made their television debut on Jools Holland, sold out a run of shows for later in the year – including the 3,500 capacity O2 Victoria Warehouse in Manchester – and finished work on their debut album.
“I’m bald now,” frontman Alex Moore self-deprecatingly reflects about the last nine months with a hint of humour. “In terms of myself, I’ve changed a lot since we last spoke. I’ve realised and come to terms with things.”
The band’s stunning recent brace of singles, ‘Oh My Love’ and the title track ‘How Beautiful Life Can Be’, reflect this change in Moore’s outlook upon life. His art exhibits the positive place he finds himself in, yet the singer has struggled to find contentment for the majority of his life.
“I think I am getting happier, to be honest,” Moore adds. “Not that I seek gratitude or anything, but just the fact that people want to listen to music, and really care about my lyrics, and me and the lads, has been life-changing. But in ways that I didn’t think would change. Through the experiences of the band and just being a human being, I feel like I’ve got better in myself, and I’m a better person for it. I’m more positive and optimistic, and I think it shines through in the lyrics subconsciously.”
He profoundly continues: “It’s given me a purpose, and I can actually help people, which is the most amazing thing I think. I know how I felt, and for my music to help people in those situations is the best thing for me.” There’s an authenticity to Moore which shines through, and he’s come out of his shell since I spoke with him last year. Not just as a person has he grown in confidence, but as a musician too. He’s become more daring as a songwriter, and it’s paying off with The Lathums’ output.
“I’m willing to do new things now and not being daunted by them,” Moore says about his lyricism on How Beautiful Life Can Be. “I’m very proud of the album. It’s thoughts and feelings from me being a young lad to now. There’s quite a journey because there are songs from before I joined the band and songs that I wrote while we’ve been in the midst of it all.
“Through the experiences of the band, I feel like I’ve got better in myself, and I’m a better person for it. I’m more positive and optimistic, which I think shines through in the lyrics subconsciously.
“I want the album to be something timeless,” Moore continues. “It doesn’t matter how old you are; I just want it to be something that everybody can confide in. I really want it to hit home with people, and make them think, and make them feel.”
As a band, they’ve already won over a coterie of famous fans, including Paul Weller, who selected them as his special guests on tour, and he’s not even their most notable supporter. “I don’t know if this is common knowledge or anything, but Elton John,” Moore laughs. “He was emailing the elders above, and our name popped up on an email. He said he really liked our music and that,” the singer adds in almost disbelief.
Their twelve-track debut arrives in September, and with Elton’s seal of approval, the sky could be the limit. Moore is hoping that it’ll be the moment they break out as Britain’s next band. He’s unapologetically ambitious and believes nothing is off the table for The Lathums. With that sentiment, it’s easy to forget that they are still only 20, and when you think back to what most of us were doing at that age, the magnitude of what The Lathums have created is only more impressive.
On reflection, there hasn’t been a band that have directly captured the hearts and minds of a generation since the emergence of Arctic Monkeys. In today’s climate, when everybody has the world at their fingertips, and we are drowning in choice, it’s hard to see that zeitgeist moment happening again. However, that doesn’t stop Moore from hoping to take The Lathums to the moon.
“I’ve got big aspirations,” Moore confidently states. “Bigger than what I intended at first because obviously, I didn’t realise how special the band was and how far we could say take it as a unit. Now nothing will stop me, I’ve got a game plan on, and I’m just going to keep writing the songs. Keep being who I am, not change, and just let the music speak for us.”
How Beautiful Life Can Be is one of this year’s most anticipated debut albums, and it’s The Lathums’ moment to back up their words. You only got one shot at a first album, and Moore is chomping at the bit to share it with the world, which says everything you need to know about his confidence about the body of work.
It was only two years ago they were playing local pubs in the North West, and their lofty rise in this time is extraordinary. There’s little doubt that there are sunny days ahead for The Lathums, and How Beautiful Life Can Be will offer an indication as to just how bright their future looks.
How Beautiful Life Can Be arrives on September 24th through Island Records.