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Sydney-based cool boy writes a love letter to NYC in shape of a song. Chris Lanzon’s new single “New York, Falling Apart” is a serenade, a light feathery floating song about falling in love with New York. After Lanzon visited New York for the first time, and even only for a few days, it was imprinted in his mind so much that even though it wasn’t until much later that this song even came about, it still feels so deep and vivid listening to it. That’s what New York is for a lot of people, me included. New York personifies itself and it feels like one big drama, one big love affair. That’s what this song is.

Chris Lanzon is an independent artist who does everything for himself. He sings, writes, produces, directs, promotes- you name it. It’s not an easy job but he makes it look effortless. His smooth breathy voice, over slick tickling guitar patterns, and a light atmospheric beat behind it all comes together to create an indie pop dream of a song. We got to talk to the romantic musician about visiting New York, doing it all on his own, and writing the song.

What’s the music scene like in Sydney? Are you enjoying it over there?

The scene here has had its ups and downs. Even before this year’s pandemic, the night life and music festival scenes were dying here. And for a while I felt pretty isolated as a young independent artist, it felt like there wasn’t anyone I knew who was doing what I was doing – writing and producing their own songs, directing their own videos, etc. But that’s changed recently and I’ve been meeting more like-minded local emerging artists, and it really feels like a new community is starting to build. Right now, is the most excited I’ve ever been about the Sydney scene. There’s some cool stuff brewing, and I can’t wait for rest of the world to catch on.

Tell us what made you fall in love with New York? Any plans on returning?

I loved the scale of it. The diversity of people and mix of cultures – from the food to the fashion to the lifestyles. I was only there for a few days, and was based in Brooklyn. Riding the subway every day into and across the city was an experience you don’t get in Australia. There were so many interesting characters everywhere you went. I’m not even generally a huge fan of cities, but New York felt pretty special, I’d love to go back there for sure.

What was the song process like? Did you write the song immediately after returning from a visit or was it something you brewed on?

I wrote the song with my friend Nate, who goes by the songwriter name Franco Reid. I met him in LA last year, just after I had been in New York. Funnily enough though, we didn’t write this song until much, much later. I was back home in Sydney and it was mid-pandemic, probably around July. We decided to have regular Skype sessions to catch up, stay sane, and try to write music over the internet. We would just write using a guitar, then go back and forth with production ideas. For this one, I remember it started as this simple idea of reminiscing on a past relationship, but then the New York lyric came into it, and I was like “Oh! What if we’re not singing to a lost lover in New York? What if we’re singing to the city itself?!”. Lightbulb moment. I like the metaphoric subtext, that it’s not just a surface level song. I think that makes it more personal, for me at least.

What’s your favorite thing about being a musician? What’s the hardest thing?

My favourite thing is the self-expression, and then seeing people connect with that. Like, a year ago I was just writing these songs in my room as a way of getting my emotions out, and no one was hearing them. Now I’ve started to release the music and people are listening and relating to it in ways I didn’t even think of. I get messages from strangers saying how much the music means to them, and that is so crazy to me.

The hardest thing right now is doing everything on my own. It started out of necessity; I didn’t have anyone like-minded around me to work with, or the money to pay for studio time and engineers – so I became my own producer, my own manager, my own creative director, my own promoter. I do love being proactive and having complete control over what I’m doing – it can be super rewarding, but it can be also be really exhausting. I often spend more time doing admin things than actually making music! And sometimes I get into loops of self-doubt and worry about things I shouldn’t. That’s largely what the second EP is all about.

Who did you listen to growing up? How has evolved into what you listen to now?

It was really a mix of everything growing up. Dad was always jamming rock and blues on his guitar around the house, and Mum was always listening to newer stuff. I remember she had the CD for Bon Iver “For Emma, Forever Ago”, and Damien Rice “O”. That’s definitely where a lot of my folk influence comes from. I also have an early memory of hearing “Bohemian Rhapsody” for the first time. I still listen to a lot of the same music now. “For Emma, Forever Ago” remains one of my all-time favourite albums. But I also love listening to newer artists – right now I’m loving Phoebe Bridgers and Jeremy Zucker, to name a couple.

What are you looking forward to this week, this month, this year?

The main things I’m looking forward to are ‘New York, Falling Apart’ coming out! Then I’m having my first ever headline show on Nov 27th in Sydney. That’s going to be amazing. I didn’t expect to be playing a show this year, especially with the pandemic, but things have been pretty safe here so they’re allowing socially-distanced concerts. I can’t wait to play all the songs live for the first time. After that I’m looking forward to taking a bit of a break over the holidays, and finishing off my second EP!



photos / Elizabeth Miranda

story / Vogue Giambri

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