Lane on the right path

Jen Lane finds her voice on For the Night

Jen Lane’s future may have been written while she was still inside the womb. Using headphones on her belly to calm her unborn child Lane’s mother exposed her future daughter to the sweet sounds of Stevie Wonder and the Rolling Stones.

“That’s got to be a great start!” Lane says from her Saskatoon home. “My parents had a great record collection and were always playing good music. I look at my songs now and I wonder how I was influenced by all the Neil Young records my dad used to play.”

“My mom took me to a Whitney Houston concert of all things when I was eight and it blew my mind. I was like ‘I want to do that !’ My parents encouraged my love of music and my songwriting. They always said if that’s what you want to do work hard at it.”

Mission accomplished. By 16 Lane had released her debut album Injection and now a decade later she’s already a music industry veteran. But despite her experience she says that on her latest release For the Night — an album produced by ex-Odds member Steven Drake and recorded at Stone Canyon Studios in Vancouver — she’s finally got the process down.

“I think I’m just more proud of these songs because I was able to really put in the time” she says. “I received a grant from the Saskatchewan Arts Board and I submerged myself in writing which was exactly what I needed to do.”

“I spent a full year tearing songs apart writing new material picking up old songs and trying different tempos and arrangements. The difference between then and now is that I didn’t really have a concept of what it meant to be a songwriter. It’s something that I… naturally did. But I can honestly say that I was never really satisfied. The time and work I invested in ( For the Night ) makes me feel like (my songs are) done. They’re complete and there’s nothing about them that bugs me.”

While she has received plenty of comparisons to fellow Canadian songstress Sarah Harmer Lane has applied her own stamp and sonic sensibilities to For the Night evident on tracks such as “Grey Skies” “Today and Lost My Mind” and the lush beauty of “Lie to Me.”

For her upcoming performance at the Palomino — it’s a quadruple bill also featuring Smokekiller Volcanoless in Canada and the Perms — Lane is veering away from her customary solo performances. In deploying a full band she suspects things will be getting a little louder than usual.

“I think for me it’s all about the spice of life and some variety in presenting my songs” she says. “I love playing solo and depending on the show and the atmosphere it’s really cool. What I dig about what we’re doing right now is that it’s more of an adrenaline rush. It’s authentic it’s spontaneous and it’s real. Music is always there and it’s our natural therapy.”