Five Questions With… Damhnait Doyle
The Newfoundland-born songstress releases a cathartic new album, Liquor Store Flowers, today. Here she talks about expressing herself without a filter, a memorable encounter with Willie Nelson, and a love of New Order.
By Jason Schneider
Since launching her musical career at 17, Damhnait Doyle has spent the better part of the last two decades finding her true voice as an artist. On April 12, the Newfoundland-born songstress will unleash her innermost self with her latest album, Liquor Store Flowers.
Produced by John Dinsmore (with three tracks co-produced by Damhnait herself), Liquor Store Flowers tells the stories of a lifetime of heartbreaks and heartwarming experiences. Together they form an 11-track cathartic confessional that breaks the emotional shackles that had long held Doyle back from expressing her deeper artistry.
At its base, the album is a lesson in honesty and strength, speaking directly to the importance Doyle places on staying true to her artistic vision. Bringing the record to life is its first single “That’s What You Get, ”a pointed message to all recovering people pleasers, like Doyle herself.
She launches Liquor Store Flowers in Toronto on April 23 at the Dakota Tavern and in St. John's on May 11 at The Ship Inn & Pub. For more info go to damhnaitdoyle.com.
What makes Liquor Store Flowers different from your past work?
This is the raw, unfiltered me. This is exactly what I love to listen to, straight up stories with the drive of Americana pulsing through it. There’s no make-up on these songs; there’s just lines and shadows, darkness and light.
What's your best touring story?
When Kim Stockwood, Tara Maclean and I had our band, Shaye, we were opening up for Willie Nelson and every night we sang “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” with him at the end of his set and it was mind-blowing each time. Then one day we were invited on Willie’s bus to sing him an a capella song we wrote. After we finished, I opened my eyes and there were tears rolling down his face. The “PS” to that story is that I still have the munchies!
What song in your catalogue means the most to you and why?
I’d have to say “Better Life” [from Liquor Store Flowers]. I know a lot of lives that have been touched by adoption, no more so than my own. I genuinely believe that to give your child a chance at a better life is the most beautiful love there is. I will be forever grateful.
What song by another artist do you wish you had written?
“Bizarre Love Triangle” by New Order and “Graceland” by Paul Simon.
What's something you'd like added or changed on your Wikipedia page.
I’ve learned things about myself I never even knew on Wikipedia. So I wouldn’t mind house firing it and starting over from scratch!