“OH, Sade is my girl,” says Mitch Flynn, vocalist/guitarist with Glasgow five-piece LYLO. “I’ve always liked her but particularly lately I’ve really got into her.”

The influence of the much-loved and mysterious soul singer is in evidence on Flynn’s work on Post Era, his band’s forthcoming album released on El Rancho. Smooth and sinewy, his vocals weave around the deep grooves hewn by bassist Jack Seaton and Justin Allan, a young drummer with the kind of dexterous chops more often found in jazz than pop. Add to that the ribboning, urbane figures of saxophonist Iain McCall and readers of a certain vintage may be reminded of the cultivated, adult pop of the likes of The Style Council, pre-electro Everything But The Girl and the blissed-out airiness of Talk Talk.

“Yes, The Style Council; Talking Heads and Japan too – that 1980s’ synth sound in general has a huge influence on us,” says Flynn. “I listen to a lot of soul music more than anything, while Jack loves loads and loads of African music. Justin is obsessed by Roxy Music, like really obsessed. None of us are particularly trained. We just learnt our instruments how we wanted to play them.”

High school pals Seaton and Allan first jammed with Flynn in summer 2013, with McCall joining the band as they recorded Handsome Living, LYLO’s 2015 debut album. Then a recent graduate of Glasgow School of Art, McCall’s good reputation preceded him.

“We all knew Iain loosely,” says Flynn. “He’s always been a really active musician and played in lots of bands, so we knew his kind of style. At the time we just thought it’d be nice to have his saxophone on the album.

“Then when we came to playing songs from Handsome Living live, there was no way we wouldn’t want him to play too.

“He’s brought so much electricity to the music, and he’s such an amazing saxophonist. His playing has become a signature part of our sound.”

Funkier and more expansive than the entirely self-produced Handsome Living, Post Era saw the outfit try a different approach whereby the drums and bass were recorded in Gorbals Sound Studio with engineer Ronan Fay, the guitarist with garage-rockers Sweaty Palms. The band then worked on the tracks between their flats.

“Recording drums and bass yourself is quite difficult, so it was great to work with Ronan,” says Flynn. “And then doing the rest at home gave us the liberty to take as much time as we wanted and experiment more. We also learnt a lot more about production, so hopefully we’ve done a better job with this record. Handsome Living was a lot of fun to make but the production is very lo-fi, very DIY.”

That some of Post Era – in particular the three-song suite which forms its centrepiece – was built from the rhythm section up isn’t surprising. There’s a real emphasis on groove here, with twisting and turning former singles You Have Your Father’s Eyes and It’s Good To Know Your Man being followed by the upbeat, debonair Yeah Boy, the band’s current single.

Flynn explains: “It was almost like we were making hip hop or something in terms of maintaining a groove and layering samples and other things over the top. So though it was a much longer process than we anticipated, we learned so much and a lot of the songs definitely benefited from this approach. There’s nothing on Handsome Living that’s as funky as this.”

And LYLO are getting ever funkier, Flynn explains. The recent addition of synth-player Niall Morris, who joined after the recording of Post Era, has helped make the outfit’s live performances tighter and more lithe.

“Since he’s joined us we’ve really come together as a five-piece,” says Flynn.

“We are really inspired by African music and r’n’b and now we’re getting tight enough to actually play more like that.”

Gelling together as a quintet is already inspiring the future sound of LYLO, with the band now more often taking a communal approach to songwriting.

“For the new songs we’re working on we’re taking a much more organic approach,” says Flynn. “I’m more of a fan overall of us all working together like this. It’s a case of the five of us going into the studio and just going for it and seeing what comes out.

“For me that’s where the best kind of songs come from, from all going in a room and making a racket.”

January 26, Stereo, Glasgow
Post Era is released on January 26 via El Rancho