Meet Lanae (Lah-nay) Hale and you’ll be captured by the vibrant 24- year old singer songwriter whose textured, up-to-date songs, also carry wisdom, soul and spirit well beyond her years. Hang out and have a chat with Lanae and you’ll easily be touched by the warmth and down-to-earth qualities, which permeate her expressive music and significant lyrics.
Out of Gainesville, Florida, Lanae Hale, who developed her style by playing worship in church and trying out her songs in coffeehouses, is the latest addition to the talented stable of artists at Centricity records. Lanae’s debut and self-penned effort is a 6-song EP that will give you a glimpse into her heart and most likely open up yours in the process.
Lanae arrived in Nashville from Florida only a year ago, however, she has been getting ready for this moment, practicing, singing, playing and writing, since she was, well, in her words, ‘little bitty.’ Raised by a musical family including a dad that led worship, Lanae has always had a love for music.
Maybe it’s the struggles in her own life that have given her such a practical sensibility, a refreshing sense of humility and a sweet welcoming smile that is likely to captivate anyone that gets the chance to see and hear her.
When Lanae arrived in Nashville, she was not one of those people who went around banging on every door with abandonment trying to get that record deal, not even close. “I really felt like if it was indeed meant to be, then God would open that door for me,” she recalls.
Though raised in the Sunshine State there was a time when this songstress struggled through days consumed with dark and negative thoughts, only to come out of them discovering vibrancy in her message and music. “I think I am so excited about things now because I went through a really difficult time but God brought me through it with grace.”
Lanae reflects on that period of time when she was not in a good place, sometimes overwhelmed with unhealthy and harmful thoughts. Like a lot of young women Lanae felt the enormous pressure of living up to our material world’s 21st century expectations and sometimes that pressure sweeps you into a dark corner. “I was into cutting and if not for the grace of God I may not have made it through. It’s hard to explain but sometimes you don’t like yourself and do bad things to yourself, such as cutting. If I can reach out to God and change then others can as well. More than anything else, I would like to help young girls through my own music and my own testimony.”
Lanae discovered that through God, there is always a way out of the darkness and back into the light. “I realized that God loved me. And that’s my prayer really, that my music will be used to reach people, especially young girls who may happen to be going through some of the same trials that I had to go through.”
While Lanae’s brand of music is a bit more subtle than many- her messages are loud and clear. On first listen, what initially hits you is the versatility and range of her voice. She can be porcelain smooth, soft as a prayer and then grab you with a soulful-jazz tinged growl. She has the rare capacity of creating an infectious hook with a simple change of phrasing or by changing the course of a melody with a crisp, clear vocal punctuation mark. Her voice has such range that it’s easy to imagine her leading a sweet choir one moment or a soulful-warehouse jazz unit the next. In the song ‘Stay,’ her call to “please stay,’ builds from a sweet request to a daunting and desperate plea with the capability to take you to your knees.
The EP opens with the hooky, poppy “’Spring Again,” that would sound incredible blasting from your radio speakers and may conjure up comparisons to Sixpence None the Richer or the Cranberries. On ‘Spring Again,’ there’s a lament for the passing of spring, giving way for fallen leaves. In the next track there’s re-birth as, “Alive Again,’ basks in the comfort of God’s grace. The production is crisp, yet pleasantly sparse, allowing her voice to be the focal point. This is the kind of music that sounds better and better every time you hear it. Timeless sounding, first-rate songs have that effect. And the best news is that this is Lane’s first release. We will hopefully be hearing Lanae’s music for a very long time to come.