Far away from the bright lights of a budding country music career, Olivia Lane found herself in a dark place a few years back that she feared she couldn’t find her way out of.
And she was starting to get scared.
Having released a slew of original music starting in 2015, the Houston-born and Nashville-based singer/songwriter had taken a break from the road to find herself yet again, hopeful to discover the reasons why she couldn’t stop talking down to herself, optimistic that she could ultimately figure out just why she could no longer look in the mirror and like what she saw.
“My mind was about to break,” Lane emotionally confesses in a recent interview with American Songwriter. “I was starting to believe all of the negative thoughts, so I decided to invest in me and go to therapy. I started to realign myself and I realized how important it is to have a relationship with yourself.”
And one day, just about 2.5 years ago, as she walked out of her therapist’s office yet again to sink down in the seat of her car and let her thoughts sink into her healing soul, she realized that she had finally had her breakthrough.
And as any songwriter knows, emotional breakthroughs often bring out the very best songs.
“I realized that I don’t have to believe everything I think,” Lane recalls. “I realized that not everything I think is true. I started thinking about how I had to stop living in my head and I had to start living my life instead, and all of a sudden, this wave started coming over me and flooded my brain with something I just knew was going to be a very special song.”
And yes, that special song premieres on American Songwriter today.
“I haven’t been this excited about a song as I am about ‘Living Instead’ in a very long time,” says Lane, who released her much anticipated EP The One last year. “To me, this is my DNA. I hope, through this song, that people understand my heart and what I struggle with. I built up all this power in myself through therapy and it felt like this song was the culmination of that power.”
With the melody and a portion of the lyrics taking 20 minutes and the whole song being completed in a matter of two hours alongside co-writers Skip Black and Lance Carpenter, “Living Instead” does serve as a perfect pep talk to the demons that follow us all at one time or another. It’s the perfect anthem for all those who find themselves bogged down by the stresses of the everyday. And in light of May being Mental Health Month, it’s the perfect reminder that it’s okay to not be okay.
And in case you need a reminder during this somewhat never-ending nightmare that is COVID-19, we all will be okay.
“There is definitely a duality in the song in the way that everyone will take something different from it,” concludes Lane about the powerful song. “And like any song, it gives everyone a reason to detach from life for a moment and attach to a song to make you feel better.”
“It worked for me.”