If Dolores from the Cranberries and Leigh Nash of Sixpence None the Richer ever merged into one person, that person would be Lanae’ Hale. Born into a musical family, Lanae’ originally pursued a career in nursing before following God’s call to Nashville to share her love of God through music. Not only did Lanae’ meet the love of her life, she found a home among the Centricity Records artist and releases her first album, Back & Forth, on May 19.
Through difficulty and despair, including struggling with cutting in her teens, Lanae’ learned how her brokenness could be used by God for good. Lucky for us, Lanae’ talks about her story in Backseat Writer’s latest “Take 5”. You can also check out my audio interview with Lanae’ coming soon at The Christian Manifesto. On a personal note, I really like Lanae’ Hale, both musically and personally. Her album is on permanent rotation here at Casa de Amy.
When I first heard your album, I thought, “Where did this girl and her amazing vocals come from?” To get to know you better, I’d love to learn three interesting facts about Lanae Hale.
Note from Amy:: So Lanae’ forgot to answer this question; therefore, I’m going to choose three interesting things I learned about her while talking to her on the phone–her all-time favorite band is Death Cab For Cutie; she went grocery shopping on the day of the audio interview; and she wants to visit Chincoteague Island, VA with her husband because I told her how awesome it is! And I think she likes animals…but I’m not certain.
Your debut album, Back & Forth, is saturated with meaningful music from love songs to desperate cries to God. What is the meaning behind the album’s title track “Back & Forth”?
Growing up in Florida, one of my favorite things to do was going to the beach just as the sun was setting. I’d climb up into the life guard stands to just watch and listen to the waves rolling in. It was my time to be alone, to think and pray…to be alone with God. Now living in Nashville, I think back on the beach and the time I used to spend there. I realize now how much “life” reminds me of the ocean. Our lives are constantly in motion. Some days are less chaotic then others, but a lot of the time we have those waves that are constantly crashing, and just like life, sometimes it’s hard and it’s messy. I’ve especially found that to be true when I take a stand and speak truth. The second we, as believers, step out in faith we enter a war-zone and the enemy turns the heat up. Satan gets SO mad when we are obedient to the call of Christ. It seems like our lives are constantly fighting back and forth. During those times it’s so good to just hold tight to Jesus and never let go, because He is all we need to get through it.
I love your transparency, Lanae! You share about your struggles with cutting as well as pill and alcohol abuse. “If I’m Broken” seems to follow this theme. Please share how you can to write this incredible song.
Yes, my life has been quite a roller coaster. I did struggle deeply with cutting. I was never a party girl but I wanted so much just to escape my emotions, so along with cutting, I dappled a little with alcohol and sleep aids. Honestly, I wouldn’t say I was a pill popper or anything, but I would down about a half a bottle of NyQuil in the middle of the day so that I could just sleep my life away. Needless to say, I was a pretty miserable person for a while there.
The song, “If I’m Broken,” was inspired by a prayer that I heard by a man who suddenly began to face life-threatening complications. The doctors couldn’t figure what was wrong with him and his family started to lose hope for his survival. But in the midst of chaos and possible death this man prayed, “Lord if I come out of this a whole man or a broken man, I am still your man!” WOW! I was SO moved by his humility. I think looking at my own life and brokenness, I was deeply challenged by this prayer. I think we are all called to give to the Lord our whole life, even the broken and scared parts. I want to be able to pray that kind of a prayer even in the face of death and tragedy.
Like you, I also have a history of self-injury—long before I ever heard the term “cutting.” For a long time, that was a very difficult thing for me to talk about with others, especially Christians. There are a lot of girls who struggle with cutting that will read this Take 5—what would you like to say to them?
Wow…I guess I would say to NEVER give up! This world wants us to believe that we are insignificant and easily replaceable, but the TRUTH is we matter to the God of the universe! I started realizing the worth that I had when I read Psalm 139. It is full of the truth about how God sees us and what he thinks about us. I would encourage anyone struggling with self worth to read Psalm 139 and Psalm 147:3. These verses changed my life and my view of love forever!!!
Not only do you talk about the difficulties, but you write songs to the love of your life—your husband, Josh! What is one of your favorite love songs on your album?
Ahhhhh, I LOVE talking about my husband!!! He is my very best friend! I couldn’t have asked for a better husband and I tried to express that by writing the song, “Let’s Grow Old Together”. Honestly, I tried but words really couldn’t express how amazing he is and how much he means to me!