Los Angeles-based indie pop duo Mating Ritual (brothers Ryan and Taylor Lawhon) is gearing up to release their sophomore album Light Myself On Fire this Friday (May 4). First, they’re giving fans an early listen of the track “Stop Making Sense,” premiering exclusively on Billboard.
“‘Stop Making Sense’ is about overthinking,” Ryan says. “When I wrote the song with my buddy Sean Van Vleet, we had a couple beers and shared a distaste for the amount of critical negativity in the world, especially over inconsequential things that are just meant to be fun,” he adds. “Anything can seem terrible when you think about it too much, and sometimes it makes sense to turn off your brain and just let life do its thing.”
This album also sees a reunion between Ryan and Taylor — who were previously in the band Pacific Air together — as Ryan was operating solo when he released Mating Ritual’s first record How You Gonna Stop It? in 2017. “Reuniting with my brother Taylor has been like coming home,” he says. “It’s instantly familiar and comfortable, and I think the music is that much better for it.
“Light Myself On Fire is about following through…and maybe growing up a little bit,” Ryan continues, going on to cite Wire, INXS, OMD and Ryan Paris as influences for the album. He explains that they embraced their love for the ‘80s and the hooks from that time.
“In a weird way, I think this our better-late-than-never coming of age record,” he says. “It’s about learning that the grass is not always greener; that the next fleeting dopamine rush won’t solve everything.”
The duo has big ambitions, and they’ll soon be hitting the studio once again to get to work on their next effort. “We plan on releasing five albums in five years,” Ryan says, adding that they’ve already started writing and conceptualizing their third record. “We have vague ideas of where we want to take the next three albums, but as we grow and experiment, I’m sure those ideas will as well.” The band also plans to add more US tour dates this fall, and go overseas for the first time.
Listen to “Stop Making Sense” below.