You Should Stan: Lostboycrow isn’t so lost after all — The artist discovers a new sound

Currently on tour with band flor, Oregonian artist Lostboycrow collaborated with singer Bea Miller on his track “Waste Of Time.” (Photo courtesy of Sophie Harris)

Lostboycrow is on the road again — this time, with a new haircut, new sound and a new album in hand.

I chatted with the Oregon-born singer about his newest musical project “Santa Fe” ahead of his tour stop in Los Angeles alongside my favorite band flor. 

LBC’s music is evolving and ever-changing, and though I was hooked on some of his first tracks like “Powers” and “Talk Back to Me” back in 2016, his newest tracks evoke a newfound sense of maturity and vulnerability.

Take the vocally-driven title track for example, where LBC asks himself, “Who am I?” and reassures himself that “you could be strong.”

When you listen to the project, be sure to use earphones — “Santa Fe” is one of those albums you have to listen to from start to finish. With the “Passing Through” interlude between the title track and “Suburban Girl,” you can literally feel the music “passing through” your brain. It’s trippy and I love it.

“This new album was me really trying to be intentional with the sound and figuring out my sound,” he tells me ahead of the tour. 

Talk to me about this new album, “Santa Fe.”

We went to Santa Fe, a small group of us, and tried to really limit ourselves as far as the instruments we were using and the people that we brought in. We tried to actually just hone in on the sound of me. And a lot of that came from me starting the songs on the acoustic guitar. When the music is starting and ending with me [as] opposed to somebody else, then I think it is going to be a little bit truer to who I am as a songwriter. 

I would definitely say “Santa Fe” is the first, big monumental step [into] “my sound.”

Definitely. And how does that feel to even be able to say that as an artist?

It feels really good. That’s oversimplified, but I’m proud of all the music I’ve released. A lot of it has provided me with cool opportunities, and it has become a catalyst for what I do now. And I know it means a lot to other people too. But to actually have, where I’m at creatively, with what everyone else gets to hear for me, to have that line align closer and closer is always the goal. 

In any industry, you make art, and then you might be sitting on it for a while because it’s just not the right time to release it or whatever the reason may be, and so I think part of what I’ve tried to do now is just bridge that gap between what I’m creating, where I’m at now and what people actually get to hear.

How would you describe your general sound like when somebody goes on Spotify and goes to your profile?

That’s such a tough question. It’s a very, very valid question. I ask that question to other people all the time. But I think when you’re the artist being asked, it’s very hard to answer without sounding really pretentious. 

The older catalog was kind of blending genres between electronic and R&B. Those are two genres I feel comfortable describing the older stuff like. And then the newer album “Santa Fe” and the stuff I’m working on now, that’s all very guitar-driven. It still has elements of the other genres, I would just say it’s a lot more guitar-driven, vocal-centered dance music.

That’s probably how I would have described it, too. I love this album, and “Violet Sky” is definitely one of my favorites. I like how you made a reference to an older song, “Devil In the Backseat.”

I always kind of like tying things together like that because I think each album can be a chapter of the sound and the time of the artist’s life. I think it’s cool, even with different sounds to still lyrically bridge the gap sometimes and leave that trail for everybody who’s going along to the whole journey or for people to maybe go back and discover.

We’re getting a different sound but also a new look! Was that also on purpose or on a whim?

It was somewhat on a whim. I didn’t really think of it as “new era, I’m going to cut my hair.” But I think it was just time. Maybe subconsciously, it had to do with me beginning a new chapter. I just felt like I needed a weight lifted off of my shoulders, literally and figuratively. [It was] kind of time for a change. I think the hair is a very tangible change that you can make when you’re transitioning chapters in your life. I ended up cutting it quite a bit shorter last fall and gradually shorter and shorter. It’s kind of addicting too. After the first time I got it cut, it just felt like me or at least where I’m at right now.

So your L.A. stop with flor is coming soon. Obviously, you’re friends with flor. What’s that like touring with them?

It’s kind of surreal sometimes because it really is like a dream come true. I remember Kyle [one of flor’s members] and I, in high school, just being in our upstairs rooms just jamming out, trying to write songs. Like, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could do this together on a larger scale?” Then flash forward, he joined flor and I’m Lostboycrow, and we’re both kind of parallel on our journey. 

It was really special the first time that those journeys collided. We were able to do a short tour together, and now it just feels like that was just a taste of what it could have been. Now, it feels right. It’s hard to wrap my head around it because it seems like such a long time coming because we’re all so close. It’s pretty surreal to actually think that we are going on like a full U.S. tour together, but I couldn’t be happier about it. I think the fans have seen us over the years interact and how supportive we are of each other.

If someone logs on to your Spotify to listen to your music for the first time, what should they listen to?

I would want them to listen to “Waste of Time – Live at Lucy’s Meat Market.” That’s like a live version of the song and how we actually play it at a show. 

That’s your track with Bea Miller, right?

Yeah! It was really cool. I really value her as a human. As an artist, she’s really badass. She just knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go for it. I knew I wanted another voice on “Waste Of Time.” She was already somebody that I really respected, and she’s easy to work with, so it’s really cool to have her on that.

Lastly, why should people stan you?

I’m so curious about what other people said! Well, because I stan them. I hope that someone would be a bit of themselves in their journey — in my journey — as I’m very transparent with the journey of who I am as a person and becoming Lostboycrow in my music. I would hope that somebody can see their own journey within my music and be inspired by that and feel that they stan themselves.

The artist’s new album, “Santa Fe,” plays with guitar elements, jumpstarting a new era in his music career. (Photo courtesy of Raelena Kniff)

Tomás Mier is a senior writing about up-and-coming artists. He is also the editor-in-chief of the Daily Trojan. His column “You Should Stan” runs every other Friday.