Doug Paisley: If I Wanted To
Warm vocals and crisp guitars make this well-crafted tune a winner.
By Kerry Doole
Doug Paisley: If I Wanted To (Outside Music): This highly-regarded Toronto roots songsmith has just released a new album, Say What You Like, produced by kindred spirit Afie Jurvanen (aka Bahamas) and released on Paisley's new label home, Outside Music.
If I Wanted To, one of the focus tracks, is described by Paisley as a song he wrote “in about 10 minutes 15 years ago. It wasn’t about anything I was feeling or anyone I knew. I remember that every line and every part led to the next one so easily and I never had to change or add anything after that.”
The mid-tempo tune reads as a farewell letter to a lover: "You go your way and I'll go mine, You and I are better as two." Rather like Bahamas and Ray Lamontagne, Paisley has a warm hug of a voice, one that comforts and soothes. He is also highly skilled in songcraft, and both virtues are in evidence on this cut, along with a lovely interplay of acoustic and electric guitar.
Say What You Like is Doug Paisley’s first release since 2018’s Starter Home which landed on The New Yorker’s Ten Best Albums of the Year. He's no stranger to rave reviews, as MOJO called his sophomore release, Constant Companion, one of the top ten of 2010, while Rolling Stone deemed it to be a “nearly perfect singer-songwriter record.
He hasn't been idle between albums, for a label press release notes that the new album "was culled from 250 unrecorded songs spanning a decade of unregulated creativity, like a snapshot of an artist functioning at his best and highest level—honest, exposed, searching, and yet comforting in his ability to communicate the universal in the struggles of the individual."
Paisley is highly respected by his musical peers, but it'd be nice to see that major talent receive more attention from the public.
He has these shows upcoming: May 10 - Kingston, The Grad Club, May 11 - Montreal, Petit Campus, May 12 - Ottawa, Redbird Live, and May 13 - Toronto, TD Music Hall | Massey Hall.
Publicity: Ken Beattie, Killbeat