When Chris Lane entered the process of creating his latest project Laps Around the Sun he was grateful to have clarity, an important factor that took multiple album-making processes to gain. When Lane broke through in 2016 with Girl Problems, he accomplished an impressive feat as the first artist signed to Big Loud Records by achieving a No. 1 hit with “Fix” and second single “For Her” reaching the Top 15. Both Lane and the young label found themselves embarking on new terrain, trying to decipher who he was as an artist.
Now with Laps Around the Sun, Lane is starting to shape his identity and what he strives for artistically. Having a clearer vision for the types of songs he wants to cut, Lane is embracing how the new project diverges from previous releases.
“I think people are going to be able to see the growth this time around,” he shares with Sounds Like Nashville. “Even in the songwriting, I was trying to capture a real feeling and atmosphere and a vibe.”
Lane’s desire to create that authentic feeling and transport people to another place is a tactic inspired by Kenny Chesney, an artist he’s admired since childhood. Lane had the opportunity to watch Chesney’s headlining performance during Carolina Country Music Festival in 2017, an experience that would make a significant contribution to how he defines himself as an artist. As Lane observed the superstar masterfully connect with thousands of fans, he knew that was this type of impact he wanted to achieve with his own musics project. “His songs always have a way of putting you in the mindset of your happy place or a place you’d love to be,” Lane reflects. “I thought about that coming into my second record.”
He begins to achieve this goal by establishing a relatable factor throughout the album. Take “Drunk People” for example, which offers a nod of encouragement to anyone who’s made a regrettable decision while under the influence, one that Lane personally relates to. “Looking back on it the next day, you just gotta own it,” he laughs. The song also accomplishes what Lane set out to do, as the summery melody brings to mind fond memories of being on the water, transporting him to a place of sanctuary in his mind. “I wanted a majority of the songs to be that way, to tell a story, to make people go to their happy place,” he says of the track that fans have told him is the “most relatable song they’ve ever heard.”
Lane tells an interesting story on “Hero,” the emotional ballad that closes out the album. The song follows three people – a heartbroken woman, a disappointed son and a preacher – who are looking for a hero to offer them guidance and support. In the midst of 13 feel-good, uptempo numbers, “Hero” and its down-to-earth message stands out. “I’ve never had a song that tells a story like this one,” he says. “From the beginning verse to the last, each verse is different. I’ve always liked songs that tell a story like that.”
Whether he’s playing coy on “New Phone, Who’s This” or telling a thought-provoking tale on “Hero,” Laps Around the Sun is a reflection of the security Lane feels in his artistic direction. “It feels good to know where you want to go,” he says. “You always have to continue to grow and evolve or else you’re going to get left behind.”
Laps Around the Sun is available now. The album’s lead single “Take Back Home Girl” featuring Tori Kelly is currently climbing the country charts, sitting inside the Top 15 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart while inching its way toward the Top 10 on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart.