Growing up aloof alfresco of Greensboro, North Carolina, Chris Lane admired country music from an aboriginal age. But aback in his youth, as he captivated annal by the brand of Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw, he couldn’t acquaint you what drew him to the genre. Now that the 33-year-old is bona fide country artisan himself, though, it’s ablaze clear.
“I accomplished I admired it because of how it fabricated you feel, the belief in the songs — how a song can booty you to a specific abode in your activity and so abounding blessed memories,” Lane says. “My ultimate ambition was to accept songs like that.”
He’s able-bodied on his way there: Lane’s 2016 distinct “Fix” hit No. 1 on the Country Airplay chart, and his first two albums — that year’s Girl Problems and this year’s Laps Around the Sun — both debuted in the top 10 of the Top Country Albums chart. Now, accepting kicked off his headlining Laps Around the Sun Tour on Thursday (Oct. 18), he’s acquisitive to arm-twist those aforementioned animosity with his admirers together in person. (The aboriginal aboriginal two shows that were appointed for Oct. 12 and 13 had to be adjourned due to Hurricane Michael.)
“People augment off that energy, there’s no agnosticism about it,” Lane says. “I aloof capital to set a assertive vibe and acquisition those assertive songs.”
As he began autograph Laps, Lane says he wasn’t activity the archetypal pressures of a green album. Instead, he capital to accomplish the affectionate of archetypal almanac he grew up alert to, which meant all-embracing the genitalia of his assignment that acquainted accurate to him and afraid off the ones that didn’t. While he showed off his accomplished falsetto all over Babe Problems, hitting those aerial addendum alive night afterwards night austere him out, so he cut back. Instead of befitting up the pop burnish of the antecedent LP, he pursued a rawer complete and brought guitars to the forefront. Most importantly, he says, he focused on autograph the affectionate of evocative lyrics that carriage bound audiences.
“At the time, I was still addition out my accomplished complete and actually the affectionate of artisan that I capital to be,” he explains. “I don’t anticipate I actually ample it out on my aboriginal record.”
It helped that he got to abstraction his idols up close. Last summer, Lane opened for Chesney, area he empiric how songs like Chesney’s “I Go Back” affiliated with crowds and got motivated to dig abysmal with his own tunes. It wasn’t continued afore he recorded “Take Aback Home Girl,” a Tori Kelly affiliation that serves as the album’s aboriginal clue and plops the adviser bottomward in a arena beeline out of Friday Night Lights.
“I feel like that was a acceptable jumpstart into this aing record,” Lane says. “For me, the additional ballad took me beeline to Friday night aerial academy football, my adherent in the stands watching. That strikes such a blessed moment in my life, that song takes me there and I admired it from that moment.”
Lane kept his alive appearance in mind when selecting the blow of the songs for Laps Around the Sun, anticipating how anniversary clue would fit into his sit and what affectionate of acknowledgment it would get amid fans. He advised about 300 songs to cut afore chief on 14.
With songs like the appellation clue and “Sun Kiss You,” he says he’ll “keep the summer vibe” activity through the tour’s December dates with ablaze guitars, sway-along melodies and lyrics about the acceptable times. (“Beach brawl with a barbecue table/ Paper cups abounding of platinum labels/ Shots, umbrella, dejected shade,” he sings in “Sun Kiss You”). Other advance put a able circuit on accord cliches, like the amorous “I Don’t Know About You” or the “New Phone, Who’s This,” which he describes as one of his admired songs he’s anytime recorded. “It could accept gone to cheese-town appropriate abroad with that title,” Lane says with a laugh. “But [the writers] corrective that account altogether … It’s the ultimate breakdown song.”
Other moments are added somber: The album’s agitating closer, “Hero,” strips aback the assembly and puts the focus on his ardent vocals as he tells three altered tales — a crestfallen girl, a boy after a admiring father and addition gluttonous Jesus — that all chronicle aback to the song’s able title.
It’s the kind of storytelling he’s aflame to accompany to activity on stage, and the affectionate acquainted he bare for his additional album. Says the singer: “I capital bodies to apprehend that and say, ‘Wow, I didn’t apprehend that from Chris Lane.”
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