You can tell a lot about an artist by their album and song titles. Saint Lane’s newly released second album is called CRYING IN THE PORSCHE; songs on it include “IT AIN’T SODA!”, “does sawyer get off the island?”, and “SHROOMS BEFORE the party”. The Gold Coast rapper is, it seems, very keen on tripping up journalist’s like me with his errant capitalisation.
What Saint Lane’s titles hint at are an artist who endeavours to never take himself too seriously, something that’s missing in a lot of music today. The titles are an extension of the New Zealand-born artist’s natural charisma, a winning personality that’s carried him far in the last few years.
But these song titles are also a smokescreen, because Saint Lane presents himself as a highly conscious lyricist on CRYING IN THE PORSCHE.
On the opener, “GOLD REVOLVER”, for example, he writes from the perspective of James Brown during his divorce in the ’80s, inspired to do so after reading the great soul man’s autobiography.
There’s also several wilful explorations of addiction, be it to romance or alcohol; Saint Lane has always been an artist that wears his heart on his sleeve.
“Last year I got out of a seven year relationship with someone who I will always love and will always be a massive part of my life,” Saint Lane reveals. “I got addicted to going on dates, it was really strange, I did like a decade worth of dating in the space of about four months just to distract myself and became completely dependent on alcohol.
“The relationship ended just as I was rolling out my last album so my career was at an all time high and life at an all time low. This album tries to document this brief period.”
Saint Lane plays a second album exactly as it should be played, revealing more of himself in his music, letting fans further into his world (there are several intimate voice notes spaced throughout the album). With his flow steady, he unfurls vulnerable and unvarnished verses that demand respect.
To celebrate the unveiling of Saint Lane’s genre-hopping release – he effortlessly traverses hip hop, rap, bedroom pop on the album, all underpinned by resolutely DIY beats – Rolling Stone AU/NZ got him to break down each song on CRYING IN THE PORSCHE in more detail, which you can check out below.
Fans can also catch the rapper on his homecoming Aotearoa tour next month, with shows in Wellington, Tauranga, and Auckland in support of Bootleg Rascal (more information here).
Saint Lane’s CRYING IN THE PORSCHE is out now.
CRYING IN THE PORSCHE Track by Track:
Gold Revolver is actually a song from the perspective of James Brown during his divorce in 1988. James Brown is one of my favourite artists of all time, The Payback is one of my favourite albums. I read his autobiography and it was just incredible, this man’s story. The way he spoke about his divorce taking place while his career was skyrocketing was such an interesting juxtaposition… I had to write about it.
“IT AINT SODA!”
This song is about a friend who is an alcoholic and at the time was refusing help, in denial, she had a problem. For her, drinking was a way to numb out trauma and I could definitely relate.
I was seeing a girl for a while and one day she got a message from a dude from a reality TV show, asking her out on a date. I told her she should go, just to meet the guy for a bit of a laugh and funny story to tell, and they’ve been dating ever since. The song is more of an “ah well” than some Adele breakup anthem, it’s a lot of fun. I wanted to make something that blended Harry Styles and Gang of Youths. I sent her the song when it was finished and she loved it.
“Hayley” isn’t about a specific girl, more of identifying consistencies from when I was going on these super soft core dates meeting some real interesting characters. I didn’t realise how crazy the dating world is being so out of it for so long – there were people I’d meet for a drink once suddenly sending me crazy messages or trying to find me at work, it’s wild.
“SHROOMS BEFORE the party”
I was on tour and going to so many events, meeting so many people, but I was truly sad at heart. I started taking mushrooms before any sort of social outing and this song is about that.
“i was unaware”
This song was an iPhone voice note my friend Lily Budiasa sent me. I thought it was so beautiful, I called her and said, “I need to put this on my album,” and she said, “let me know when you want me to record.” I said, “you just did it,” and that was that.
Mae and I used to work at a backpackers in Surfers Paradise together. She sent me this voice note on Instagram out of the blue and it was something I came back to a lot during the breakup so had to keep it on there.
I wanted a big epic closer. I recorded a voice note at a train station in Sydney with that melody and wrote the whole song a capella. The brilliant Miggy then created the production around my a capella vocal leading to this beauty.