Sunday Lane has warranted mention on Hear! Hear! before. Her EP Bring Me Sunshine was a breath of fresh air when I stumbled on it last summer, a piano-driven mashup of Colbie Caillat and Ingrid Michaelson which maintained enough alt-country flair to keep every song on the tip of your tongue long after you last listened. Clearly I’m not the only one to think so; One Tree Hill revived the album with their season premiere this year, which featured Sunday Lane’s music prominently enough to ignite a blowup of interest in this talented young songwriter.
But when, you might ask, are we going to get more than an EP? The wait, thankfully, is not a long one. Sunday Lane’s first full-length album, From Where You Are, releases to ITunes tomorrow, and from what I can gather from the two exclusive singles she’s graciously allowed us to share here at “Hear! Hear!” – see above, y’all! — the album is going to more than live up to the hype.
“Waiting For You” has to be the sentimental favorite. The song opens with just Lane’s stunning vocals and a bare-bones piano backdrop: “I gave you everything and truth is I’d do it all again,” she sings. “But you’ll never change for me …” The song builds magnificently, a full-blooded arrangement which more than supports Lane’s powerful vocals. The build at the chorus is so intense you’ll be singing along long before the song ends, and repeats will be mandatory. This is a single crying out for radio love.
But then there’s “A Little Too Young,” the bouncier pop nugget which shows the lighter side of Lane’s songwriting style. Even as the lyrics touch on love’s darker edges, the arrangement here keeps things sunny and bright, a singalong waiting to happen as the chorus builds: “I’m a little too young to feel this old,” she sings, backs by a chorus of “whoah oh whoah oh oh’s” and a wall of shimmering horns. This is summer in a bottle, and if the rest of the album keeps building on this momentum, From Where You Are is going to be the only place discerning music fans want to be in the coming weeks.
Year of the Album — #042
Sunday Lane – “Bring Me Sunshine EP” (2010, Independent)
“You can be careful and I’ll be the reckless one,” Sunday Lane sings on “Reckless One,” the closing number on her independently released debut EP Bring Me Sunshine. “I’ll get my heart broke, but someday I’ll find love.” Her vocals, sounding hard and brittle, of broken hearts and love lost, belie the forceful façade she portrays on the outside. It’s a raw, beautiful way to wrap up her recorded introduction to the world.
This EP showcases Lane’s Colbie Caillat meets Ingrid Michaelson sound in a solid way; these are pop songs at their core which shimmer because she smartly imbues the individual songs with flashes of her own individual personality. Her voice has a frequent tremble, a sense of vulnerability which accents these songs of hope, love and the intangible elements of love which we’ve all experienced. “I’ve forgotten how long it takes to make a bad thing good,” she sings on “How Long It Takes.” But I can assure you it won’t take long for this album to dig its way into your head.
This is piano driven pop which manages to rise above the fray, and she’s earned her fans on the road, building a career from the ground up, the way few do anymore in the world of pop music. If the quality of the songs on this EP are a sign of what she’s capable of producing, here’s hoping Sunday Lane gets to make a full album that showcases her songwriting talents to a wider audience.
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Her cover-mashup of “Baby” by Justin Bieber and “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga is below. I think you’ll agree her voice raises those two songs to a new level, showcasing just how much she can do with just a few twists of a note: