Chris Lane Reaches Back to ‘Timeless’ Influences for ‘Laps Around the Sun’
Chris Lane has never shied away from trying something new: His 2016 hit single "Fix" features an all-falsetto chorus, for example. However, the country singer says that in some senses, trying something new on his new sophomore album, Laps Around the Sun, meant getting back to basics.
For one thing, Lane recorded his new music in studio with a live backing band. "I really enjoyed watching those guys get in there and do their thing, come up with parts on the spot," Lane told The Boot in a recent interview. "I know that's kind of a standard way that people do it in Nashville, but it was one that I had never done before, so it was really cool to watch that happen.
"You get a more organic sound," he adds, "and a much different feel than when you do it instrument by instrument."
Lane says that he and producer Joey Moi decided to change the recording style for his sophomore album largely because it made more sense for the specific batch of tracks in question. "These songs were a little bit different than the songs on the first record," Lane explains.
While Lane has said that his goal for Laps Around the Sun was to include enough musical diversity that everyone listening could find something to relate to, he also emphasizes that the album marks somewhat of a shift in terms of sonic direction: "[On the first album], the music was a bit edgier, and had more of a range of sounds," he notes. "This one is a little more guitar-driven for the most part. That's ultimately what I wanted this time around."
If his debut album represented experimentation and a wide range of influences, Lane says Laps Around the Sun takes greater influence from the tried-and-true style of traditional country music. "It's not like we re-invented the wheel on this record," he continues. "I ultimately wanted songs that would take people places.
"The first record I did was based a lot on feel," Lane says, "and this is based more on lyrics, and like I said, has more guitar-driven songs."
After joining Tim McGraw and Faith Hill's Soul2Soul Tour, as well as opening for Rascal Flatts on their Rhythm & Roots Tour in 2016, Lane has found ample opportunities to study country stars with staying power. He cites Kenny Chesney as a major influence on his new album, too. Lane's influences are as varied as his own music, and while versatility and experimentation are two hallmarks of his career thus far that are not likely to disappear anytime soon, the country singer says that the artists who inspired him most while recording this project were those who have found a way to make music with long-lasting resonance.
"Chesney, McGraw, Rascal Flatts, all those guys found a way to record songs that are timeless," Lane adds. "[Their songs] have great messages, or ... they just somehow feel right. Maybe the guitars are awesome -- whatever it is. Everything about that style is what I've always loved."
In addition to the aforementioned acts, Lane has also opened shows for Florida Georgia Line, in 2017. "I think the biggest thing I've learned from those experiences is to get out there and have fun," Lane admits. "[The artists I've opened for] don't take it too seriously, and people love that, because if they see you having fun onstage, they'll feel the same way.
"I used to be kind of shy onstage, but watching them has helped me throw my personality out there, let go and have fun. Now, it's second nature -- goofing off is, I mean!" he adds. "You can't think about it too much. You have to have fun."