NZ-born, Gold Coast-based alt-pop artist Saint Lane has already returned with new album CRYING IN THE PORSCHE – released 19 May – after his acclaimed 2022 full-length i thought my name was cursed. With a wealth of singles and two EPs under his belt, the multi-instrumentalist offers a beguiling record with pop, hip hop and indie-rock influences to create something unusually charming.
The album explores themes of addiction and loss as the dreamy, bright melodies contrast the darker lyrics. Largely written after the breakdown of a long-term relationship, CRYING IN THE PORSCHE documents the strange period that followed as Lane tried to distract himself by upping his dating game. Over the nine tracks, his sophomore record hops between genres with effortless grace and features some dear friends in Denny Hilder of Peach Fur and Lily Budiasa.
Funky opener “GOLDEN REVOLVER” gets you nodding from the get-go with Lane’s modest rap flows and smooth guest vocals from Hilder. The call-and-response guitar licks over a tight rhythm section make it such a vibe that would be right at home on a festival stage. “IT AIN’T SODA!” addresses the depression and alcoholism that crept in after the break-up, juxtaposing these heavy topics with summery strums and upbeat programming. Perhaps the catchiest hook on the album, Lane takes a facetious approach to this with nonchalant delivery.
Poppy single “3:33” takes it up a notch and sounds like something you could drive down the highway with your windows down to, despite the saddening message (we’ve all been there). Short but sweet track “HAYLEY” has a nice mix with some interesting effects and a cruisy chorus. Lane switches between gang vocals and choppy bars as gentle strums ride the coastal beats. At the midway point, “SHROOMS BEFORE the party” is a fun bop that delves into the chaotic habits of drugs and sex as a coping mechanism with a tasty halftime break at the end.
The latter half of the album slows down and becomes a tad morose, like the foggy hangover after a big night out. “does sawyer get off the island?” is an ambient cut with ethereal vocals and a processed falsetto that hits right in the feels. Budiasa lends her vocals on the emotive “i was unaware”, a moving duet of serrated lyrics over acoustic guitar. “mae” is an interlude in the form of a voice memo over gentle strums describing Lane’s determination through adversity. This leads to upbeat closer “christmas eve” which oozes the sentiment laughing-is-better-than-crying with shimmering synths and an infectious chorus.
CRYING IN THE PORSCHE is a unique and convincing project that will appeal to listeners from a range of backgrounds with its diverse offering. Whether you like playing tunes through a speaker on the beach with friends or reminiscing at home alone with headphones, the latest from Saint Lane is for you.
FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
CRYING IN THE PORSCHE is available to stream everywhere. Follow Saint Lane on Facebook and Instagram for more.