Q + A With Charlie Lane

An edgy and propulsive new sonic delight from Melbourne singer-songwriter Charlie Lane, the single Gold Drips out today meshes layers of indie pop and rock edges with some new wave charm alongside Lane’s trademark self-aware lyricism. Also accompanied by an aptly gold-themed music video today, Gold Drips is a shimmering return from Lane ahead of launching her new track live onstage next Thursday March 14 at The Workers Club in Fitzroy. To celebrate the release of the single, caught up with Charlie Lane for a quick Q + A

Hi, thanks for taking the time to chat with Hear 2 Zen, what have you been up to today?

Hi, I’m Charlie Lane. Nice to meet you!  Today was actually my single release for ‘Gold Drips’, which is my first single off my upcoming album so it’s been a full on making sure everything went to plan behind the scenes. I just came back from rehearsal with co-writer and producer of the track, Adam Heath, who plays guitar as a session for me. We wanted to get the set transitions straight for my launch on the 14th and have a celebratory bev. 

Tell us about yourself, how long have you been performing/creating music for? 

I’ve been writing songs since I was a teen. I just had the need to write down what I was feeling to express myself a bit better. Sometimes I couldn’t quite say what I needed to, and music was always a therapeutic release. I then studied music at JMC academy in my early twenties and started performing live as Charlie Lane with various session musicians. My first performance took place at the 2013 cabaret festival in Melbourne, but I turned my gaze from the theatrical arts into more indie waters. I soon felt I had found my place as a singer – songwriter. 

Who are your greatest inspirations?  Why?

Ian Curtas from Joy Division. He had this unique dancing style that was influenced by his experiences with epilepsy. I too am an epileptic, so he became an icon for me.

Amy Winehouse. Her vocals! The control she had was insane, her distinctive blend of jazz, soul, and rock was just so influential to me as a vocalist.

 Lastly, Daniel Johnston’s songwriting. He was able to create these dark, heavy folk-rock songs, with really vulnerable lyrics, like pure honesty I’d never heard. It was so raw, sad and beautiful. 

How do you create music?  Are you lyrics/story driven, or does the music/melody come first?  Explain your process.

For me it has always been lyrics first. I write to tell people a story. It’s a form of therapy for me and I want it to be for my audience too. It might not be the same storyline, and a little self-indulgent at times, but a story nonetheless. From the lyrics I go to the vocal melody/s and work out how I want to articulate the lyrics to match up with said melody. Then I fiddle around with chord progressions and tempo until I feel something hits right. If I do a co-write, I’ll send the above to the artists I’m working with at the time and we’ll nut out chords, tempo and more together. 

What has been your greatest challenge so far in performing/creating music?

 You know, I’m going to be very honest here, this is quite an easy answer for me. I know most people would say maybe content creation and promotion, or even finances, which hell yes! But by far the biggest issue I’ve had is coming out as a disabled musician, as of right 2024, you’ll start to see more and more disabled musicians in the Australian music scene because of some of the amazing advocates we have. Most people don’t know, but I struggle greatly playing another instrument because I have minor Cerebral Palsy in my left side which affects my fine motor skills. It’s quite invisible onstage and off. I’ve struggled with coming to terms with having a disability and struggled financially being unable to play shows or tours by myself if needed. 

Tell us about your new release Gold Drips, how did it come about?

Gold Drips came about back in 2019. Written first alongside co-writer Lyra Caltabiano, who was a session guitarist at the time.  I had the lyrics and melody down and then Lyra and I put together a rough take on a not so great voice memo. I returned to the track in 2021 when its story had a whole new meaning to me. I really wanted to keep going with it, taking it to fellow co-writer and producer Adam Heath and developing it further together into its final form. 

Lyrically, Gold Drips is written around enmeshed families, and a co-dependent relationship I was in at the time; what it is and was to be stuck in a position of loyalty and remembering your strength to break out of that place, to do what’s right, even if that means you have to leave what’s comfortable behind. 

What advice do you have to artists who are just starting out?

Network with other artists and musicians, collaborate together on projects. Most importantly, find a mentor that is a little more experienced or established in the music world than you and gain knowledge and more experience. 

Tell us your favourite Zen practice.

My alone walks to this peace garden I have in my suburb! It’s actually called a peace garden. I walk there every couple of days and just completely zone out. 


Drafting what would become Gold Drips back in 2019 alongside co-writer Lyra Caltabiano, Lane returned to the track in 2021, taking it to fellow co-writer and producer Adam Jack Heath and developing it together into its final form. Inspired by an eclectic array of artists, including The National, Joy Division, Amy Winehouse, Pink, Kate Nash and Blondie, Lane fused her creative knack for weaving sunshine into relatable honesty alongside diverse inspiration, emerging with a new wave-hued edgy charmer laden with powerful meaning, as Lane explains, “Gold Drips was written around enmeshed families, and a co-dependent relationship; what it is to be stuck in a position of loyalty and remembering your strength to break out of that place to do what’s right, even if that means you have to leave what’s comfortable behind. Adam is another co-writer, and is also the guitarist, keys player and backing vocalist whilst also being the producer for this track. Literally an all-round legend. Louis Spencely is on drums, Jethro (Jet) Kalt on Bass, and the amazing Jasmine Johnston on synth and backings.”

Embracing all things gold for the accompanying Gold Drips music video, Lane worked alongside her press photographer Marcus Coblyn to ultimately bring the clip to life. Seemingly simplistic but pulsing with creativity and cohesive meaning, the Gold Drips video first evolved from ice coffee meetings and the fortuitous discovery of a gold-adjacent airstream, as Lane elaborates, “At first I really struggled to come up with a concept for the clip as I wrote the song quite a few years back, and it has definitely changed its meaning to me over that time. I knew that I didn’t want it to be overly complex and that there was definitely going to be a gold theme going on, so I pushed hard on that one! I was really lucky that I had Marcus onboard as he is super validating and full of ideas. After our “meeting”, which was an iced coffee and hang out at Edinburgh gardens because that’s how you get shit done, I went home and contacted my friends from high school Tarryn and her husband Tim. I knew they had a brass decor airstream for hire at their business lagoon locations and then ideas started flowing.”

Discovering her love of music at a young age, Lane grew up listening to her father’s favourite blues artists, becoming enamoured by the guitarwork of the likes of Buddy Guy, Lloyd Spiegel and Jimmy Hocking alongside her mother’s tastes which spanned Carole King and Joni Mitchell. From writing her first song at the age of 16 to studying at JMC Academy, Lane’s first performance took place at a cabaret festival in 2013, before she turned her gaze from the theatrical arts into more indie waters. Recruiting session players, Lane soon found her stride as a songwriter, with her sound evolving over the years without faltering from her core flair of conjuring charming and authentic music. A queer and disabled woman in the music industry who is “just looking to push boundaries, break down barriers and stigmas,” Lane has established herself as a formidable force on the Melbourne creative scene over the years, with over 100+ shows under her belt while proudly championing inclusivity within the musical realms.

And with much more still to come in 2024, Lane will launch her latest single Gold Drips next week in Melbourne, performing her brand new track at The Workers Club; and there are definitely some surprises in store for the night, as Lane concludes, “This next one is definitely going to be a fun show. We’re doing a lot of new tracks from the album and an old banger that seems to be a fave. I definitely love to keep the stage presence fun and a slight surprise for the boys currently playing with me. Jet is quite new as the bass player, I felt like I gave him quite a scare the last gig jumping so close out of nowhere, as I’m pretty tame in rehearsals. But the show is always a good time.”

Gold Drips is out today, Friday March 8.



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