After hitting the country music scene in 2016 with his pop-leaning album Girl Problems, Chris Lane is changing direction with his latest offering, Laps Around the Sun.
The new album, which contains 14 brand new tracks, is not what you would expect from the guy who brought us “Fix” as his debut single. “I learned from that, from playing live and from what people react to, and what’s true to my heart and what I’ve truly wanted to do,” Chris tells One Country.
Going back to his roots and picking songs that fans can relate too, such as the infectious “Drunk People,” and “Life Goes On.,” Chris has hit his stride. The country album lends itself to Chris’ sultry vocals, bringing them the recognition they deserve.
Not only did the North Carolina native evolve his sound, remaining true to the music he loves, his recording process took him in a new direction as well. Produced by Joey Moi, the new album was recorded using a live band in the studio. “I’ve never done that before, and I love the sound that I got from that,” Chris said.
Part of that sound was released in the lead single, “Take Back Home Girl,” featuring Tori Kelly, which reached Top 10 on the Billboard Country Airplay charts. Chris admits the song has been the biggest of his career to date and adding Tori to the track was a smart move.
What has “Take Bak Home Girl” meant for you?
“‘Take Back Home Girl.’ Gosh, this song’s been a huge blessing for me because I’m lucky to have Tori Kelly on the song. She definitely took it to the next level, but to see the way people are reacting to this song has been huge for me. It’s just now top 10, but no matter what it does from here on out, it’s been the biggest song of my career.”
What drew you to that song to make it the first cut off the new album?
“Well, honestly when I got the song, it was just in a little acoustic work tape more or less, but just lyrically, it took me to a happy place in my life. I haven’t experienced taking a whole lot of girls back home to meet my parents, ’cause I’m not there right now. But lyrically, the second verse takes me back to my high school girlfriend and Friday night football, and my hometown. Just everything about it. I just love it. I felt it, and I think people can really relate to the song.”
What can we expect from Laps Around the Sun?
“It’s a little bit of everything. So, there’s songs like ‘Hero,’ which speak to a side of me where I’ve grown up in church my entire life. But then you go to the other opposite end of the spectrum to a song that I just released called ‘Drunk People.’ People are saying that this is the most relatable song they’ve ever heard, and I’m like, ‘Yeah. That’s exactly why I recorded it, because it’s me to a tee along with millions of other people.’ I think there’s a song on here for everybody, a lot more organic this time around because we used a real, live band to do the recordings. I love the songs that I got to record.
“There are some songs that are more progressive than others, and there are certain songs that are right down the middle. Just great country songs, where my first record [Girl Problems] was pretty progressive the whole way through and a little more pop-leaning sound.”
Do you think you found the sound and direction you wanna go with the new album?
“I mean, there’s always room to evolve and to keep growing, but I think people are definitely gonna be able to see the growth from first record to this record, and probably even from this record to the next and so on. But yes, now I understand what kind of artist I wanna be, and I can really go for it now as opposed to first time around where I was still trying to figure it out. I’m very proud of that record. It got me to where I’m at now, but building off of that, it feels good knowing what I wanna do and how I can brand myself moving forward. And I’m pumped about that.”
Do you have a favorite song on the album?
“I love them all for different reasons, but ‘Laps Around the Sun’ especially because I was a writer on it. ‘Hero,’ like I said, because it’s something that I wanted to say, but I don’t feel like it’s too pushy. And it’s more of a serious song. I’ve never had a song like that, ever. But I’m also loving the way that people have reacted so far to ‘Fishin” and ‘Drunk People.'”
Not only is Tori Kelly on the album, Danielle Bradbery joins you on “Without You.” How did that come about?
“Well, I’m a fan of hers. I’d recently did a guitar pull with her and I remember thinking to myself after I heard her sing that first song—I always knew she could sing, but after hearing her sing the first song—I had to go after her and the whole time I was like, ‘God, I gotta go after her.’
“She did a great job. She came in, like I said, was super sweet and just nailed it. It was one of the last songs we finished. It wasn’t a duet or anything like that, but I decided I wanted to put a female on the song, and I feel like it took it to that next level. Super happy to have her on the song. It could even potentially be a single, we don’t know yet.”
Have you had a pinch-me moment in your career that you’ll never forget?
“Yeah, honestly I think having my first number one was definitely a big moment for me.”
What does the rest of 2018 look like for you?
“We’re currently figuring out whether I end up on tour with somebody else or not. I’m not sure yet, but I’m doing a lot of fairs and festivals currently, and will be doing so until probably mid-fall and then start figuring out exactly what we’re gonna do from there. It’s been a lot of fun. The past few years I was out with [Rascal] Flatts and then FGL [Florida Georgia Line], so I haven’t had a chance to do a lot of fairs and festivals, and this is my year for that.”
LAPS AROUND THE SUN TRACK LISTING:
1. “Take Back Home Girl” feat. Tori Kelly – (David Garcia, Hillary Lindsey, Josh Miller)
2. “Fishin’” – (Matt Dragstrem, Brian Kelley, Josh Thompson)
3. “Drunk People” – (Zach Abend, Michael Hardy, James McNair)
4. “I Don’t Know About You” – (Ashley Gorley, Michael Hardy, Hunter Phelps, Jameson Rodgers)
5. “Laps Around The Sun” – (Bobby Huff, Chris Lane, Ernest Keith Smith)
6. “Bad Girl” – (Rodney Clawson, Matt Dragstrem, Josh Thompson)
7. “New Phone, Who’s This” – (Rhett Akins, Matt Dragstrem, Marv Green)
8. “All The Right Problems” – (Rodney Clawson, Matt Dragstrem, Josh Thompson)
9. “Life Goes On” – (Nate Cyphert, Josh Miller, Ben West)
10. “Sun Kiss You” – (busbee, Ryan Hurd, Jon Nite)
11. “Number One” – (Bobby Huff, Ernest Keith Smith, Brad Warren, Brett Warren)
12. “Old Flame” – (Rodney Clawson, Matt Dragstrem, Josh Thompson)
13. “Without You” feat. Danielle Bradbery – (Ben Burgess, Ross Copperman, Emily Weisband)
14. “Hero” – (Josh Miller)