"I obsess over songwriting to the point where when I listen to music I hear the song rather than the genre," says Dev Hynes, the genial creative force behind Lightspeed Champion. "The first music I was into was musicals: stuff like Hair and the Rocky Horror film. Those songs had a big effect on me. And I'm an unashamedly huge country fan. My aunt in Houston always played the country stations. I'm pretty out of date with the new indie bands, though I still listen to a lot of hip hop."
Still only 21, Dev was born in Houston but his family moved around a lot when he was a child - from Texas to Edinburgh, eventually settling in Essex. As a six year old Dev would follow his big sister everywhere, which is how he came to play the piano - she was taking lessons and he'd go with her. Three years later he started learning the cello, and by the age of 12 drums had entered the picture. Dev's early teens were spent teaching himself the guitar and logging time as a bassist in "bad hardcore punk bands".
After finishing school he upped sticks to London, which is still home. The sound of Lightspeed Champion, however, was shaped thousands of miles away in Omaha, Nebraska by experienced studio hand Mike Mogis, resident producer for Saddle Creek records.
Backed by an informal band that included multi-instrumentalists Mogis and Nate Walcott. The Faint's drummer Clark Baechle and guest vocalist Emmy The Great - not to mention moonlighting members of Cursive and Tilly And The Wall - Dev was able to furnish his gently humorous, open-hearted songs with an unaffected warmth.