It seems lazy to comment on The Lounge Society’s youth. Lazier has yet to initiate proceedings with her. Yes, the group is young. And now what?
But the age of The Lounge Society is relevant. Their first album, Tired of freedom, is a young person’s look at the state of the world, taking into account politics, place and adolescence against a backdrop of tumultuous post-punk. The band are more than aware that their age plays a part in how their work sounds, and rather than ignore or deny it, they decided to lean in.
“It’s a young, urgent, hopeful album, and that’s pretty important,” says guitarist Hani Paskin-Hussain. “We were very aware that it didn’t feel like a fourth album. All the best debut albums have this thing in common, which is urgency and chaos. I think we have succeeded. I hope we did, anyway.
“It’s frustrating, this ‘good for their age’ mentality. Although they’re probably right, I think it’s a dangerous thought process.
In some cases, the mention of a group’s youth can seem condescending. It seems like a pat on the head, almost like saying “isn’t it cute?” Because of this perception, many young bands prefer to distance themselves from what sets them apart. This is not the case for The Lounge Society.
“We’re actually quite proud to be a band of 19-year-olds doing what we do,” says Hani. ‘I think it’s quite important. I don’t want to be 30, I want to be who I am now.
That being said, there is one thing about the conversations around their age that bothers him. While some bands will understandably wonder why they can’t just be considered “good” rather than “good for their age,” Hani has a different take on sentiment. “It’s frustrating, this ‘good for their age’ mentality. Although they’re probably right, I think it’s a dangerous thought process. You can’t think like that, otherwise you stop. You have to keep trying to do better,” he says.
If The Lounge Society wants to continue to grow, then Tired of freedom is a solid foundation on which to build. Lyrically, the album’s message digs deep, whether it’s highlighting humanity and mental distress with the emotionally charged no driveror examining the foundations of power on tracks like blood money and generation game. “I think everyone naturally writes about politics, it’s just whether they want to admit it or not. Because everything is really political, isn’t it? Hani said.
The way The Lounge Society deals with politics has changed since they started releasing music. An early single, Burn the Heather, was a direct hit against grouse hunting and the associated practice of burning heather on the Yorkshire moors to hunt birds. Over time, however, the band opted for a more low-key approach, tackling a range of political and social topics from a more oblique angle.
‘burn the heather was a pretty direct hit on a specific topic, but it’s a pretty old track. We used to want to focus on a specific topic and make it really clear. burn the heather and generation game both have explicit lyrics in the literal sense. Now we don’t feel the need to report everything as much,” says Hani. “I think we feel comfortable enough to write about what we want to write about, and if people can make it happen, that’s great, but if they can’t, that’s just as well.”
“Lyrically, it’s a pretty nice position. When you’re first starting out, you want to ruffle some feathers. I think we don’t need to do that anymore, because we’ve already done that,” he adds.
This development is all the more interesting because generation game – the very first single from the Lounge Society – is the latest track from Tired of freedom. Since its first release in 2020 as part of Speedy Wunderground’s one-off series, the track has been refreshed. It’s still recognizably the same song, but the texture has changed. “I’m pretty proud of that as our first single, because it was a weird first single. “It’s about five and a half minutes long and it’s about all kinds of very intense politics. Referring to Nazis is pretty intense laughs Hani. ‘If something else was our first single, like burn the heather, I don’t know if it would have had the same impact. People were talking about it, so I’m pretty glad it’s like that.