Former solo artist Jordy Lane’s (not to be confused with Jordie Lane) eccentric electronica pop is an exploration of existential quandaries and sonic possibilities. Having formerly acknowledged a desire to create a more experimental sound, the ever-evolving Sydney based songsmith grew his one-man wolfpack into a four-piece under the banner of Shady Lane. Built Guilt is the second record since the expansion and sees Jordy continue his quest to meld pop sensibilities with unorthodox, and at times brutal, musical compositions.
“I’m still pretty happy writing pop music. I don’t see anything wrong with it, but I guess I kind of like fusing pop music with weirder stuff”, Jordy explains.
“For the next record, I’d actually like to do something not necessarily ‘poppier’ but sort of more listenable to a wider audience. But after that, I reckon I’ll probably swing back to something a bit weirder again. I think I just need to kind of react to the last thing I do all the time, whether that’s a full album or something I think I’d definitely like to do eventually, something that my parents won’t like.”
Along with swinging back and forth on a musical direction, Jordy also wavered when it came to deciding on a band name. In the end, Shady Lane was chosen as a way of paying tribute to the Pavement song of the same name. Coincidentally, Jordy learned after the fact that it also happened to be the nickname of his grandfather.
“I remember wavering over it for hours and hours and just gave up and went for something simple… It’s annoying that people talk about Pavement, which I really love, but it’s good to be as original as possible with everything you do. It doesn’t really bother me anymore, but I could have probably gone with something less with my name in it”, Jordy admits.
“Band names are a funny thing because it gets associated so much with the music, like there’s some really bad band names when you think about them but you sort of don’t think about it when you just associate the music with it.”
As it stands, the name Shady Lane is associated with the music of a ponderous and pensive nature. Where 2009 debut Here We Go Down The Black Hole concerned itself with existential matters of existence and purpose, Built Guilt is an introverted search through one’s psyche.
A quick glance at some of Built Guilt’s song titles — What Future?, Stretching Mr Meds Over A Spit, Eraser Brain and Happy Without Controls — along with the album name itself, gives the glimpse of a continual theme revolving around mental health. Shady Lane’s latest video for the single Convenient Face Hinge visualises this concept, depicting a puppet that loses the plot and is fed prescription drugs, to no avail.
“It (Built Guilt) kind of naturally follows on from the existential thing. Wondering about the big, big things and then kind of having an actual personal existential crisis, I guess. It wasn’t for me a conscious decision, it just sort of happened naturally that way.”
“After the first record, I took a bit of a break from music and then sort of started to get back into it. I definitely wasn’t enjoying myself and definitely fell into a black hole of despair for a while… I guess something that I’m proud of is (because I was really not in the mood to be writing music) the fact that I went through and did it anyway, even though it was kind of painful and unenjoyable”, Jordy reveals.
“I’ve been pretty up and down in the last couple of years and I guess it’s a fairly self-indulgent reflection of that, to be honest.”
Shady Lane’s Built Guilt is slated for release Friday, 18th May.
Watch: Shady Lane – Convenient Face Hinge
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