03 May, 2012

Put The Needle On The Record: Lanie Lane

Allow me to introduce you to my latest love, Sydney songstress Lanie Lane. Recently nominated for APRA Song of the Year, Breakthrough Songwriter of the Year and double nominated for Blues & Roots Work of the Year by the Australian Performing Rights Association, Lanie’s debut album ‘To The Horses’ is making BIG waves in the Australian music industry.

And here’s why.

The perfect mix of sugar and spice, the beguiling Miss Lanie Lane’s onstage presence is a heady combination of innocence and seduction. Her 11-track album is an eclectic collection of songs blending early rock n roll with a hefty dash of blues and that undeniable rockabilly beat to create a masterpiece of love, lust and heartbreak.

I was lucky enough to see Lanie live for the first time as support at the Brian Setzer Rockabilly Riot and I fell in love straight away. Buying the album in vinyl and CD on the night I have been listening to it non-stop ever since. There’s not a song I don’t love listening to and that’s especially rare on albums these days.

The opening track, ‘Bangity Bang’ is a roaring cover of rockabilly mama Janis Martin’s 1958 song. Renowned as ‘the female Elvis’, Lanie does Janis proud before launching into sweet as pie track ‘Betty Baby’ which is an upbeat ode to Lanie’s 'in the wars' guitar.

Track three kicks things up a notch with darker bluesy ballad ‘Like Me Meaner’ where Lanie brings out the big guns and shows us that her voice can transition from light and airy to low and husky in an instant. Powerful stuff.

The next track is one of my favourites off the album and brings together the plight of a modern woman working the hum drum of retail into a clever juxtaposition with the rolling rattle and hum of prison chain gangs of the deep south. Lanie’s vocal dynamics are on show here too but it’s the imagery this song conjures up that really gets me going.

Track five is a bit of a tear jerker and slows down to allow you to catch your breath with ‘What Trouble Is’. A deeply moving song for anyone who’s loved and lost. If you’ve recently been through a break up, skip this one if you don’t have the tissues handy (trust me, ahem).

Not allowing you to wallow for long, track six kicks things back up with ‘That’s What You Get (Falling In Love With A Cowboy) and puts some sass and sex appeal into a cautionary tale. The smoky sounds of Ms Lane’s vocals in this track will have you listening on repeat.

Now she’s got your heart racing, ‘Jungle Man’ adds some mystery to a bygone era with an intoxicating blend of swampy sounds and voodoo beat while track eight ramps up the sex appeal even more with a sirens song of sin and skin in ‘The Devils Sake’.

Beginning to wind down with ‘Don’t Cry’, a soul-bearing confession of body betrayal laced with an upbeat ukulele sound, Lanie then moves on to the brain knows best but heart won’t follow lament with ‘Heartbeat’. The album ends with title track ‘To The Horses’, with a hauntingly beautiful delivery that speaks of strength and courage and purpose.

Perhaps it’s just the timing or perhaps it’s Lanie Lane’s simple but significant song writing, whichever it may be this album is practically the soundtrack to my life right now and it resonates with me on such a deep level. More than worth a listen, this little gem that is no doubt the start of something very big for Lanie and the Australian music scene and is thoroughly worth owning.

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