Laps Around the Sun – Chris Lane

Part of a wave of contemporary country singers who rode the R&B-friendly wake left by Sam Hunt in 2014, Chris Lane specialized in smooth yet lively love songs. He had roots in bro country — his first major supporting tour was with Florida Georgia Line in 2014 — and played effervescent country-pop tunes, but by the time he released his full-length major-label debut Girl Problems in 2016, he lightly emphasized a softer touch, as evidenced by the singles “Let Me Love You” and “For Her.”

A native of Kernersville, North Carolina, Chris and his twin brother Cory were born on November 9, 1984. Chris wound up playing baseball in high school, playing well enough to do so in college, but injuries prevented him from pursuing the sport as a career. Instead, he turned his attention to music, picking up a guitar and playing in a cover band. He and Cory auditioned unsuccessfully for American Idol in 2007, but soon the shape of Chris Lane’s career started to come into view. He met Seth England of Big Loud Records — the label that would eventually sign the singer — and he formed the Chris Lane Band, who would release the album Let’s Ride on Loradale Drive records. Following its release, he broke up the band, moved to Nashville, and signed to Big Loud Records. In 2014, he toured with fellow Big Loud Records act Florida Georgia Line and released his debut single, “Broken Windshield View.”

A hard-driving straight-ahead country song, “Broken Windshield View” didn’t crack Billboard’s Country Top 40, so while Lane continued to tour with Dustin Lynch, his debut album was retooled, turned into something slicker and soulful — something in the vein of Sam Hunt. “Fix,” the first taste of this new approach, arrived in 2015 and became a hit, reaching 11 on the U.S. Country Charts. An accompanying EP came out that November, then 2016 saw the singles “Let Me Love You” and “For Her” before the full-length Girl Problems arrived in late summer 2016. A commercial success, Girl Problems hit number eight on the Country chart and was accompanied by an acoustic version of the entire album. September 2017 saw the release of “Take Back Home Girl,” a collaborative single with Tori Kelly. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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