Record review: Lanie Lane – Night Shade (2014, LP)

lanie lane night shade

Ahh, how good it is to have a new album from Lanie Lane. It’s been a long three years since the Sydneysider’s debut To The Horses, in which time she’s supported Jack White and Hall & Oates before falling a little off the radar. Such a break brings with it the chance of new sonic territories being explored, and the first thing that hints at a change in musical direction is the distinct lack of anything rockabilly-related on the cover. ‘I See You’ is the first of several more measured and tender tracks from the 27 year-old, as it quickly becomes clear that this album will go a long way to shaking off the ’50s rockabilly pin-up crown that Lane had previously made for herself. However, while the uptempo bops are seemingly a thing of the past, the restrained nature of Lane’s vocals on a series of ballads and country-pop numbers only serves to make them even more entrancing, as on the soaring ‘La Loba’ and later number ‘Made For It’. Single ‘Celeste’ begins with some wonderfully jangly guitar lines before Lane’s smooth and soulful vocals will make you not give a damn that rockabilly ever existed. ‘No Sound’ is the track closest to the Tarantino-flavoured work of Lanie Lane of old and is most likely to get a bar gig kicking into gear, and while the ten-and-a-half-minute ‘Mother’ perhaps takes the mick, it’s still the slower tracks that sound best. It’ll be interesting to see how Lane pulls these songs off live, and what lies ahead for her in terms of how any future record sounds, but a move this ballsy deserves admiration and support. While Night Shade is a big change in style and might not please everyone, the value of what’s been added is worth many times that of what’s been lost. (Ivy League Records)

For mX

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