I listened to Headspace for the first time on my 40-mile commute to work in Haarlem, and by the time I arrived, I felt like I had gone on a world tour and made more friends than a popular Instagram influencer. Whether it’s the lively personalities or the vivid locales, Steinberg’s creations are bursting with richness and vibrancy.
The album’s sound has been characterized as a fusion of Burt Bacharach, Brian Wilson, XTC’s Andy Partridge, and Ben Folds, incorporating a laid-back, Sunday morning production style that gives the songs ample space to unfold.
Headspace is undoubtedly a pinnacle in Lane Steinberg’s career, a shining example of his exceptional talents and a testament to his ability to continue to produce remarkable music even in the later stages of his career.
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Paris, Lane, what happened? Have you heard about this phone number you can dial in Paris when you’re there but can’t seem to catch the “Je ne sais quoi” everyone raves about in holiday brochures? It’s like a hotline to tap into the Parisian vibe. How did the song ‘I Don’t Know What To Do In Paris Anymore’ come about?
That particular songs’ origins come simply from a phrase I heard a friend say. I’ve always kept notebooks, once analog now digital, of ideas, song titles, and the title inspired the lyric.
Do you think your voice is proof that age really is just a number, or do you credit it to good vocal care?
I’ve never been a screamer and I’ve never been a touring act, but I sing all the time so my vocal instrument doesn’t have the same miles on it as someone who does this for a living.
With a sound that reminds me of a fusion between Burt Bacharach and Ben Folds, and a production that leaves no room for error, it seems like you had to bring your A-game to pull off this unique musical style. Do you agree that the pressure was on to make sure the songs were top-notch in order to succeed?
The parameters of the album were to write each song on piano, which is not my first instrument, yet one I love for its harmonic possibilities. I have great respect for Ben Folds but Bacharach was the greatest songwriter of the second half of the 20th century, so that’s a pretty high bar. I revere his music.
The song, “The Best Part” was something that was very Bacharach influenced but I was struggling with the lyric for months. Then Burt died, and I decided to write the lyric a tribute to him.
I couldn’t help but notice that the lyrics on your new record are particularly witty and insightful, and some of them seem quite personal. As a listener, I’m curious about the stories behind the songs, but I also don’t want to pry into your personal life. How do you navigate the balance between sharing something meaningful with your listeners and keeping certain things private?
A key thing about this album is that it’s all me. Being someone who has been a serial collaborator for most of my artistic life, it was refreshing and exhilarating to record an album completely by myself. The lyrics are personal but there are also a few, like “Paris” and “Samardine” are fictional ones. I am proud to say that “Finally Next To You”, a song about finding real love after decades is 100% true to life.
Mainly, at 62 years old, it’s just me enjoying the process of writing and recording my songs. This joy has never left me. I simply do it because that’s what I feel I should be doing. I work hard at it but it’s work of love. My youth is in the past and in an objective way one could say it’s a complete waste of my time, but even if my audience is small, to share that feeling and inspiration is something I cherish and value.