L.A.B releases new album after most successful year despite Covid-19

By Jessica Tyson

One of New Zealand's favourite bands L.A.B has released their newest album today, L.A.B IV to sum up their biggest year to date.  

The 12 tracks on the album showcase the styles that have grown to be the L.A.B sound, including reggae, funk, soul and blues.

Lead vocalist and guitarist Joel Shadbolt says, “The sounds of the album has matured over time. Our songwriting and our cohesiveness as a band and the chemistry of the band is getting better and better. So the album is definitely one of our better works.”

Keys player and vocalist Miharo Gregory, who is the newest member to the band. says the new songs have a lot of electronic and acoustic elements.

“It’s just cool to be I a band that’s not afraid to go to different places. In the past albums, there’s been country songs, rock metal songs and this is just another addition to the wide genre of L.A.B,” he says.

In a year that has turned many things upside-down, Shadbolt says the band has thrived.

 “This year has been really challenging and kind of special in the fact that we had this period to create. We had time coming out of the lockdown and in the lockdown. We wouldn’t have been able to release this album this year if it wasn’t for Covid,” says Shadbolt.

They recorded the album Surgery Studios in Wellington with Dr Lee Prebble, with a rigorous recording schedule resulting in the band living in the studio for weeks on end.

Just prior to the album’s release, one of the new songs Why Oh Why debuted at Number One on the New Zealand Official Top 40 Singles Chart, their second number one for 2020, alongside In The Air’

The band is the second local independent artist to achieve two Number One singles in a calendar year, and the first local to ever hold Numbers One, Two & Four on the charts at the same time.

In addition to completing work on their fourth album, the band has performed capacity arena shows across New Zealand, won the Aotearoa Music Award for People’s Choice, and reached Number One on the 2020 End of Year New Zealand Official Music Single Charts.

The release comes ahead of another busy summer of live performances in New Zealand, including two massive headline performances at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands in New Plymouth and Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium.

April 2021 will see the band return to Australia, with a five-date tour sold-out to a total audience of over 15,000.