Entertainment, On A High Note

Olivia Lane ponders timeless question in new single and video


Fans have come to embrace Olivia Lane for her positive, upbeat songs like “Make My Own Sunshine,” complemented by her energetic stage show. With her new single “Devil and You,” the Texas-born singer delves into an alternately wilder and more vulnerable side of herself as she confronts an age-old dilemma.

It’s a playful “will she or won’t she” tune, summed up in the key phrase, “What’s a good girl supposed to do/When she’s caught up in between the devil and you.” In other words, this guy might be all wrong, but there’s a thrilling bit of temptation involved. “Yeah, do I go with the bad boy or not?” Lane says as she lets go a laugh. “I think we all have had those moments in our lives.”

Lane co-wrote the single, which weaves synthesizer and banjo into a catchy pop-country number. “I just knew that I wanted to write something upbeat and fun,” she recalls about the writing session. “My producer Skip Bates, who was also a co-writer, had the title. I’m not sure we actually knew what the title ‘Devil and You’ meant, and we were trying to determine what it would be about. It could go so many ways.”

At one point, Lane suggested the scenario of a girl having to make that tricky bad-boy decision. “I came up with that ‘angel on my shoulder’ idea that you hear in the song,” she says. “I really like how the song unfolded.”

The cover art for Lane’s new song, “Devil and You.” PHOTO COURTESY OF OLIVIA LANE

The accompanying video, currently in rotation on CMT, takes full advantage of Lane’s theatrical background. After moving with her mom to Los Angeles, Lane studied voice, dance and acting, developing a lively, charismatic stage presence. For the “Devil and You” video, she showcases a variety of expressions and truly plays for the camera, as the focus is squarely on her. Unlike most country videos, there is no B-roll footage or separate storyline.

“The director [James King] and I totally lined up,” Lane smiles. “He also did my videos for ‘Wrong Girl’ and ‘Make My Own Sunshine.’ We listen to each other and I think that’s so important.” The shoot, done in Nashville, proved equal parts exhilarating and exhausting. “I had to practice some dance moves,” Lane admits. “It was fun to do that.” With a lilting laugh, she adds, “But I literally couldn’t move my neck at the end of the shoot because I was doing so many hair flips.”

There were industry insiders, though, who felt that Lane’s high-octane style might work against her. Some even suggested that she tone down that part of her act. But to watch her in a live setting, particularly at her recent Country Radio Seminar performances in Nashville, there’s a realization that this is truly who she is. Nothing feels forced or overdone. Lane ultimately reached the conclusion that she couldn’t change that integral part of herself.

“When I hear music, I want to move,” she says, smiling. “I am such an energy person. So, why do I have to hide that? I feel like my fans get me and know who I am. I’ve started to own that a little more this past year. I discovered that there really is this theatrical, larger-than-life part of me. I feel that ‘Devil and You’ represents that and also sort of dabbles into this other side of me that is a little more vulnerable. It’s good for fans to see all different parts.”

Lane released her self-titled EP in 2016 featuring “Make My Own Sunshine.” PHOTO COURTESY OF OLIVIA LANE

In addition to her performing self-awakening, she’s also seeing a maturity in her songwriting, evidenced by ‘Devil and You’ and others. “I have been working with different songwriters,” Lane says. “I feel like I’m coming into my own with my writing. I think I’m delving a little deeper into the things I’m writing about. Like ‘Devil and You.’ I’ve never had a song like that before. We also have another one called ‘Friends Don’t’ which I am really excited about.”

That could loom as the follow-up to “Devil and You.” There’s a possible EP on the 2018 horizon as well, plus more touring. “I’ll be hitting the road in November with Gary Allan on some dates,” she points out. “He is just amazing. Beyond that, I’m just going to continue to write and stay busy.”