In 2009, Steve Lane set about committing a bunch of his songs to tape, enlisting good mates Darren Seltmann (Ripe, The Avalanches), Jimmy Williams (The Shedshakers, Paul Kelly and the Dots) and Pete Slater (Dalriada) to add their considerable talents to the project.
“Working as a community musician, songwriter and sound engineer, I’ve always thought it important to get the balance right… If I’m telling my own stories through music, I’m far more effective helping others tell theirs”
With the addition of Augie March’s revered rhythm section (David Williams and Edmondo Ammendola) Steve Lane and The Autocrats were born and a debut album recorded at Melbourne’s Newmarket Studios under the careful direction of producer/engineer, Ben Hurt.
In 2011, ‘The Romance of Communication’ was released through ABC Music/Universal and was listed for the Australian Music Prize, as well as scoring the coveted album of the week on ABC JJ/DIG MUSIC
“Steve Lane & The Autocrats release and album that has all the tell-tale signs of an Australian band bound for longevity” - Isabella Tolhurst (FasterLouder)
“Honestly, the album is a genuine all-killer affair” - Tony McMahon (Inpress)
“If more pop-rock was this unfussy yet smart (not to mention well-read and funny), we would all have easier lives. … There are moments of '70s rock, twangin' instrumentals and open-hearted ballads that sit somewhere between the Go-Betweens and Tim Freedman. “- Bernard Zuel (Sydney Morning Herald)
First single ‘Ghost Trains’ impressed.
“It’s a pretty special thing to find new music that takes you back, but I’ve found it in Steve Lane and The Autocrats’ new single ‘Ghost Trains.’ It’s got that lovely Paul Kelly storytelling quality about it, with a splash of Weddings Parties Anything thrown in. Its good honest Aussie pub rock, melodic but heartfelt. Can you believe that something that sounds so seasoned comes from a debut?”
- Lauren Katulka. (Sounds Of Oz.)
Steve Lane and The Autocrats were also featured on The Wiggles tribute album ‘Rewiggled’ alongside the likes of Sarah Blasko, The Living End and Spiderbait.
Steve Lane and The Autocrats’ sophomore album ‘Birds Taking Flight’ was released in 2013 and the lead single ‘Thirteen’ shone brightly, receiving overwhelming praise from media and punters alike reaching the finals of the International Songwriting Competition in 2014 and 2015.
Rolling Stone’s Darren Levin wrote that “Birds Taking Flight is a bunch of mates writing tightly honed songs with their blinkers on… Lane’s heart is in the right place when he pays tribute to Pakistani activist Malala Youssafzai on ‘Thirteen’’.
‘Birds Taking Flight’ again featured the sublime playing of Jim Williams, Ammendola and David Williams and introduced Steve’s son Kai, who eventually replaced Ammendola on bass.
2015 saw Steve showcase at Canadian Music Week in Toronto and make the kind of connections that will see his career traverse both Australia and Canada in the future.
Moving on from The Autocrats in 2017, Steve Lane’s third album ‘The Revenge of the Lawn’ is a culmination of some great and some “shit” life experiences shared with band mates and long-time collaborators. The last few years have challenged Steve to the core with the loss of both his parents. This loss has informed the heart of the songs on The Revenge of the Lawn but has not left them without hope.
There’s a vulnerability and an intimacy heard on record that is undeniable" - The AU Review
"The start of a new and exciting chapter in the life of one of Australia’s most loved songwriters" - Rhythms
"Revenge Of The Lawn is going to be one of those albums that all Australian Music fans really connect with, Steve's managed to take his head out of the equation and just use his heart" - Graham Ashton Footstomp Music
Steve’s songs come from the great Australian tradition of lyricists like Paul Kelly and Courtney Barnett. These songs have been co-written with acclaimed Australian poet John Holton and recorded with David Williams on drums, Jacob McGuffie and Steve on guitars and Kai Lane-Uren playing bass. The album was lusciously mixed by underrated Rangemaster engineer David Carr, recently lauded for his work on Russell Morris’s award winning album ‘Sharkmouth’.
"Steve Lane’s songs aren’t ripped from the headlines, they’re torn out of your diaries, overhead from your friend’s stories and about as real and Australian as dual citizenship and marrying who you love" - Bernard Zuel
“The connective tissue of love embraces the planet as it draws us into ourselves in 'Dot Point', while the mood is leavened with a jaunty look at the world from the perspective of Russia's first cosmonaut in 'Motherland', another view if you like to the 'core' of the world to which we are all drawn, the 'inner' space of the final track 'Cocoon; all 'angry' chorus guitars counterpointing sparsely-backed musings on the inevitability of loss, fading out into unsettling ambience. There's slow groove Tex Mex Mystery in the mix for 'Monsoon Heartbreak, contrasting the easy lope of opening cut 'Camber', two views of love's possibilities” - Michael Smith (Rhythms)
Camber was semi-finalist in the International Song Writing Contest 2016, 2017 and 2018