Note: In case if you haven’t noticed, there’s a tiny black box to the right of these words that links to all the music-related blogs on the FNP’s blog site. The great Sue Guynn writes the Three Chords & The Truth blog, and she often covers all the goings-ons in country music. If you’d like to read more of Sue’s work, head on over to it. Why? Because she’s the best. She also wrote the following story, which will appear in this week’s 72 Hours. Enjoy!
Olivia Lane was once asked, “Are you always this sushine-y?”
Positivity is her MO, and not just because her self-titled EP just released in July, or because she’s opened for Kip Moore, Randy Houser and Wynonna Judd and is touring the country, or because Rolling Stone Country has named her one of “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know,” or even because her powerhouse vocals are compared to Sara Evans with the energy of Jennifer Nettles.
“I was blessed. I had great parents and a great childhood,” Lane said in a phone interview from her home in Nashville, noshing on watermelon. “One of the best things I can do is to give that positivity to someone else.”
Lane will bring her rays of energy to Frederick for the In The Street festival on Sept. 10, at the Second Street stage from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m. Joining her will be fellow rising country artists Jessie Chris at 11:30 a.m. and SaraBeth at 1:15 p.m.
Texas native Lane co-wrote six of the seven songs on her EP. “Make My Own Sunshine” (with Jim Beavers and Ilya Toshinskiy) is the first single and is a bouncy, bubbly, glass-half-full song that was inspired by her personality.
“It’s an introduction to fans of who I am,” she said. “One of the songwriters asked if anyone has ever told me I’m sushine-y and suggested I write about that and put my own spin on it.”
The “Make My Own Sunshine” video shows not only her vocal chops but her theatrical talents, too. Artistic at a young age, she begged her parents “for six months to let me move away from Houston — I need to be with artists,” she said. Her three options were New York (“too intimidating”), Nashville (“probably where I’ll end up but not yet ready”) or L.A., which is where she moved and later went to college. A songwriting class sparked the fire inside and she knew then that’s what she wanted to do.
“She Fits,” co-written with Beavers and Toshinskiy, is her favorite and most personal song — so personal that it took family and friends to convince her the message would connect with fans. It’s about a breakup with a guy, and how he’s now found the woman who is the perfect fit for the life he wants.
“I need to write more songs that make me feel this way every time!” she said of “She Fits.” It’s a favorite to perform, and fans respond positively to it. “When people listen to it, it becomes their song, their experience. It’s the fan’s music now.”
“Quarter Life Crisis” was inspired by a line in a John Mayer song. Lane wrote her own version from her own quarter life crisis. Lane, who just turned 25, said, “I don’t know what I’m doing with my life and we, my friends, joke about that.”
“Lightning” (with Danny Myrick, Leland Grant and Toshinskiy) is the first song she wrote for the EP, which she said was a fan-demand project. It’s a song for anyone with a dream and Lane weaves the story comparing dreams to thunder and lightning.
“Heartache” explores the breakup by text emotions; “Keychain” is about getting his key on the keychain (instead of the traditional ring on a finger).
Lane says her show is pumped with extreme energy. She played in the park on July 4 last year.
“I love Frederick,” she said. “I love the people. I love the area. Get ready for a good time.”