Americana Highways presents this premiere of Lynne Hanson’s song “Shadowland,” from her forthcoming album due to be available next year. The song was produced and engineered by Lynne Hanson & Blair Michael Hoganat Panda Cave Studio, Ottawa Ontario except drums, recorded at Bova Lab Studio. The song was mixed and mastered by Phil Shaw Bova.
“Shadowland” is Lynne Hanson on vocals and backing vocals; Blair Michael Hogan on guitars, bass, keyboards, and backing vocals; Phil Shaw Bova on drums and additional backing vocals.
We had a chat with Lynne Hanson about the song. The video premiere is just beneath the interview.
Americana Highways: What is this song about? Was there something in particular that inspired you to write and record it?
Lynne Hanson: “Shadowland” is a co-write between guitarist Blair Michael Hogan and me. The song started out as a kind of surfy, Hank Marvin-esque instrumental. When I was developing the lyrics for the song, I knew I wanted something that would be consistent with a spaghetti western adventure-type of vibe. I wrote the lyrics with a real stream-of-consciousness approach, basically just writing down whatever images came to mind and then going back and picking my favorite lines. In my head, I did have this movie that was running in the background that included throwback villains from old black-and-white gangster movies, complete with several chase scenes. It’s really meant to be a fun kind of song that’s best consumed at high volume.
AH: Did the song, and the other single you just released in September, provide a means to help you get through some of the difficult times of the pandemic? How did making music help you? Did it bring you joy/solace/meaning?
LH: This is definitely a weird time to be a full-time touring songwriter, and these days writing and recording songs is definitely my quiet place and where I turn to get a break from thinking too much about the challenges we’re all facing at the moment. Creating new music is definitely the reason I became a full-time musician, and I’ve really tried to use this time to learn how to record and to take more chances with my creative process. There’s something energizing about making music that has certainly helped keep me on track. I think that 15 seconds after I know a song is “finished” is really the creative high that I live for. And so working on creating new music has allowed me to focus on the things I CAN control right now, and tune out the things I can’t.
AH: What message do you hope to convey with the music and lyrics of the song?
LH: Unlike the single I released in September (“Hold My Breath”), this song really isn’t supposed to make the listener think too hard. I really want people to lose themselves in the groove and really just come along for the ride. So I guess what I really want is for people to feel energized after listening. Dancing and singing along in the chorus would also be heavily encouraged.
AH: The video is super cool and like a mini spy thriller. Whose idea was the video concept? Who did the animation? How much input did you have in the video? How did it come together?
LH: I was definitely thinking of a crime thriller when I first spoke to Nathan Morrow about creating the animation video. I loved the idea of some kind of chase, and some acrobatic action from the “hero” of the song. And I thought jumping out a building window was something that this lead character could pull off. After our initial phone call, Nathan sent along character design ideas as well as an initial storyboard, all of which I loved. The heart being stolen was Nathan’s idea, and having that theme running through the storyline felt like a great twist, as I’ve been called a heartbreak poet in the past. I have to admit this was a pretty easy process for me as Nathan really got the vibe of the song right out of the gate.
AH: What do you think is the coolest part of the video or the coolest thing about the overall video?
LH: I just love the cave of hearts at the end of the video, and the look of surprise on the main villain’s face as he looks up and realizes where he’s landed after the boat crash. I also thought the main characters were really well developed in terms of the details. Things like the full back of tattoos for the kingpin villain added a depth that I really hadn’t expected. I think the coolest thing is that this is an animation video as I’m such a fan of this format, and it’s pretty cool to have been able to pair this approach up with this particular song; I consider it to be the “gateway track” for the album it will be a part of, which is coming out in Spring 2022.
The video was created by Nathan Morrow and perfectly compliments the superhero Lynne Hanson and her lyrical protagonist in the song. With shades of “Rawhide” anticipating a modern day adventure, this song, with its music and its story, will stick with you. Sit back and watch the mini show.
Pre-order/pre-save link for the song: https://ffm.to/shadowland2021