New York electro-pop outfit Avan Lava puts on one hell of a show, accumulating over the years a cult-like following for their dramatic D.I.Y. spectacles full of glitz and glam. Their latest single, "Last Night," delivers every last drop of expected high-energy gloss and surges with club-ready synths. When frontman TC Hennes slips into his angelic falsetto, however, the track morphs into emotional power-pop that at the surface sounds blithely optimistic, but lyrically dives into a deeper, darker love story. We talked to Hennes about the new release and premiere the song, below.
Describe the creative process behind "Last Night."
"Last Night" began as a beat [bandmate] Le Chev was trying to write for the 2014 World Cup. He was going nuts on it for about a week, while I was just sitting there, laughing and hanging out. But then the melody just began to pop out at me and the song kind of wrote itself. It feels like a guilty pleasure -- it's exotic, sexy and fleeting. It reminds me of this time I had a gig in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and I went to this naked club called Hedonism 3. I was 19 at the time and was shocked-- it felt like everyone there was cheating on their significant other, but they were having the best time.
Your last single, "So F*kt Up," sounds much more aggressive than "Last Night"-- what caused this change?
"So F*kt Up" is about a dark, strange and unrequited love -- a love that I resented for a long time and for which, now, I am so grateful. "Last Night" is definitely more joyous and light, but if you look at the lyrics, you will see that it's about another twisted type of relationship, likely destined for failure -- it's about a love built on sand, literally.
You studied drama at NYU. How has this affected Avan Lava?
My drama education is very useful for our live show. Understanding what it means to tell a story and how to take an audience on a ride has been very useful. I'm also happy to have had proper vocal training for years. I feel like I know my voice more than any other part of my body.
Speaking of your live shows, how important are these to Avan Lava?
Our live show is what really sets us apart. We know our fans come to dance and lose themselves for a night, so we do everything we can to get them to that point. We've built a custom light show, choreographed big dance breaks, wear matching outfits that always change show-to-show. Even when we were playing 100 cap rooms, we were hiring dancers and shooting confetti canons into the crowd -- we want every show to be the best night of your life.
Listen to "Last Night," below.
Avan Lava will be playing a single release show in celebration of "Last Night" at Brooklyn's Rough Trade NYC on July 31.