True artists don’t just arrive on the scene fully formed, they have to find themselves. Even with a few hits in the bag, the search takes time, and it might be a few laps around the sun before things get dialed in – but when that happens it’s like a switch is flipped.
Heading into his second album for Big Loud Records, aptly titled Laps Around the Sun, that quest for self discovery was heavy on Chris Lane’s mind. Two whirlwind years of chart toppers and jam-packed shows had gone by for the breakout country talent, but the North Carolina native still felt restless. He found himself looking back to his early days, and back to the reasons he fell in love with music in the first place.
“I had a moment where I played a show with Kenny Chesney,” the lifelong country fan explains. “It was a festival right on the beach, and I watched him do his thing and I watched the crowd, and there was just something special about that night. I hadn’t seen him in a long time, and the way people connected to what he was doing … I had one of those moments like ‘Man, I really want my music to do that.'”
With Girl Problems, the 2016 album that launched Lane as one of Nashville’s most exciting new artists, the singer-songwriter got a taste of that connection. Its red hot romantic edge led to back-to-back, Gold-certified singles (“Fix” and “For Her”) and the first Country Radio #1 of his career, propelling the set to a Top 10 debut and sending Lane on tour with superstars like Florida Georgia Line, Tim McGraw and Faith Hill – all while helping him rack up 400 million digital streams worldwide, network TV appearances, and more.
But with Laps Around the Sun, this rising star had a bigger, bolder picture in mind, aiming for tunes “everybody can love, and everybody can feel.”
Produced once again by studio ace Joey Moi (FGL), Laps Around the Sun feels more organic, building off the sandy arrangements of artists like Chesney and Billy Currington with an added touch of newschool cool. Lane and Moi recorded with a live band for the first time, fleshed out melodies on guitars rather than computer screens, and eased Lane’s vocal into its timeless natural register.
Fourteen tracks written by hitmakers like Rhett Akins, Ashley Gorley, Hillary Lindsey and The Warren Brothers made the cut – and in an important lesson learned while Lane put his “laps” in on tour, they were all chosen based on meaning and personal connection, not purely on energy or feel.
“I’ve learned a lot,” Lane admits. “With my first record, I was trying to figure out exactly what kind of sound I wanted to have, and now I know. I know what I truly love and what kind of artist I want to be. My goal was to make sure anyone who hears this album finds a song they can relate to. I hope I accomplished that.”