Chris Lane has just released his sophomore album, Laps Around the Sun. The 14-track record is, according to Lane, the perfect warm weather soundtrack.
"My idea was just to capture the summertime feeling, out on the beach, out on the lake, summer cookouts, whatever it is, and just put people in that kind of atmosphere and that mindset," Lane tells PopCulture.com. "For me, the reason that I wanted that is because that's my happy place, and that's where I want to be on any off day that I get. I think a lot of people relate to that, and love that, especially going on vacation and whatnot. I just wanted to create a good summertime record, and that was my ultimate goal in the end."
Laps Around the Sun boasts a who's who of established songwriters contributing to the record, including Hillary Lindsey, busbee, Ross Copperman, Ryan Hurd and more, but the North Carolina native says his favorite track might be "Fishin'," written by Florida Georgia Line's Brian Kelley, along with Matt Dragstrem and Josh Thompson.
"Honestly, I love them all for different reasons, but right now I'm loving the reaction that 'Fishin'' is getting – it's kind of right down the center," explains Lane. "I'm used to doing such progressive songs. This one for me is a little bit more right down the center, just a good old country summer song, and a great play on words. Like I said, it's getting a great reaction out of people so far now that it's out, and it could potentially be a single."
Lane's current single, "Take Back Home Girl," features pop star Tori Kelly, who Lane jokes he had to "beg and plead" to get her to sing on it with him.
"I had the song," Lane says. "It wasn't a duet or anything like that, but we decided we wanted to put some female parts on it, and I knew it was going to be a single. My label asked who a dream collaboration would be. I said Tori Kelly, not realizing in that moment that it would end up actually happening. We sent her the song, she loved it, said she'd love to be a part of it, and I'm very thankful for that, very blessed that she jumped on the song, because I feel like it took it to the next level. So far, it's been the biggest song of my career."
"Take Back Home Girl" is quickly climbing the charts, but there's another duet on Laps Around the Sun, "Without You," featuring Danielle Bradbery, which Lane is also excited about.
"Same kind of thing happened," Lane recalls. "I had this song, 'Without You.' I felt like it was missing a piece, and I asked my producer if he felt like maybe we should try to add a female vocal to it, and give it that different layer and different sound. We tried it out. I'd just done a guitar pull with Danielle the week before, and I've always known she's just a tremendous vocalist, and she's so sweet, much like Tori Kelly.
"We sent her the song," he continues. "She decided that she would love to be a part of it. Brought her into the studio, I think, the next day, and she sang her parts. I'm really happy with the way the song turned out, and very thankful to have her on it."
Laps Around the Sun has a lot of influences on it, from country to R&B to a little pop. But the album, although perhaps bold in its mixing of sounds, is a nod to the man who has inspired almost every aspect of Lane's career so far: Kenny Chesney.
"I've always been a huge fan of Kenny Chesney," admits Lane. "Even coming up through college, I'd go to every single concert, every time he'd come to Charlotte, North Carolina. So many great memories at his concerts. Last year, he played a festival in Myrtle Beach called Carolina Country Music Fest, and kind of had one of those moments where I got to watch as a fan and now as an artist. The way he connected with me, the way he connected with everybody in that crowd, kind of changed my perspective on things."
With Laps Around the Sun, Lane focused on creating a project that would translate well in his live shows, much like Chesney.
"My first time around, I recorded songs based a lot on feel," the 33-year-old says. "This time around, I wanted songs that would connect with people in a much different way, and I feel like Kenny Chesney's the king of that, of taking you to a specific place where there's a happy memory or a sad memory, whatever it is, in his songs, and he's had a huge career by doing that.
"I said that night, after I watched that, that the songs I record on my second record, I want them to do, and from here on out, I want them to do the same exact thing that his songs do to people," he adds, "and I want them to connect in that way."
Lane had a chart-topping hit with "Fix" in 2016, from his freshman Girl Problems album. He also had a Top 10 hit with the follow-up "For Her" single, but to Lane, hearing himself on the radio is still the best part of his job.
"Honestly, getting my first No. 1 or hearing my song on the radio for the first time was honestly just crazy to me, but it feels good," he concedes. "Truly, it feels good to work hard for something, and to kind of see it pay off, and to see it actually happen. I mean, I feel like if I can do it, I feel like anybody, you can do anything you put your mind to, if you work hard enough at it."0comments
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Photo Credit: Getty images/Tim Mosenfelder