Having come to prominence as a winner of a Triple J Unearthed competition to play Sydney’s Big Day Out a few years ago and featuring on the You Am I track “Trigger Finger”, “To The Horses” is the album debut of singer/songwriter Lanie Lane. Recorded and mixed of a period of just four days, this debut album has that raw, straight from the guts feel that recalls many styles and genres, such as rockabilly, country and early rock and roll.

Lane definitely brings her own stamp to what she does on this debut release. Kicking off with the utterly charming and rocking “Bang Bang”, Over the course of the album , among the expert playing from her band and the great production that gives the music its space, what comes through the strongest is Lane’s beautiful voice and how expressive it is.

“Like Me Meaner” sees Lane channeling equal parts Wanda Jackson and Nina Simone, if you can imagine that, with a great sixties inspired guitar sound-lots of hollow bodied guitars and reverb. This is followed by an absolute high point of “To The Horses”, the utterly delightful and sexy as all hell “What Do I Do”, featuring Lane at her most seductive vocally.

Apart from that gorgeous voice, Lane’s wicked and, at times, black sense of humor is never far from the surface “That’s What You Get (When You Fall In Love With A Cowboy)” is a great example. Lyrically, while this album does go into some dark territory, it never becomes maudlin on depressing to listen to, courtesy of some great musical arrangements and Lane’s striking voice guiding the listener through the more challenging material.

To her eternal credit, Lane provides a fresh and compelling spin on elements in music that have been heard before. On the current Australian musical landscape, she is a true original and an exciting talent. “Jungle Man” sounds like it’s crying out to be on the soundtrack of either the next David Lynch or Quentin Tarantino film, such is its dark and mysterious vibe. An incredibly atmospheric track that calls to mind some of the work that Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood did together in the 1960’s.

This is an excellent debut from a very talented artist and singer. Lanie Lane is without a doubt one of the most exciting artists to come along on the Australian musical landscape in the past few years. Listen to “To The Horses” a few times and no doubt you will become hooked on Lane’s gorgeous voice and the remarkable things she does with it.

-Neil Evans.