On her third album, singer/songwriter
wanted to give listeners a very live sounding, honest record. She
entitled the new album,
to help those who still have trouble pronouncing her name. Right from
the first track, "Sinking Stone," there is a noticeable low-fi
and acoustic feel. damhnait's approach enabled her to create a very
organic sounding album, which is her most interesting and innovative
damhnait was born and raised in Newfoundland and Labrador,
growing up with music and theatre all around her. As a child her mother
would sing her to sleep with Irish lullabies.
Music was encouraged at a young age with singing lessons, guitar
lessons and clarinet....it seemed to the family that five years playing
the clarinet in the school band was entirely too long! Her reign of
being the squeakiest player known to mankind ended in grade eight. Very
concerned, the band teacher advised damhnait not to enter the Kiwanis
Music Festival the following day as nothing good could possibly come
from it. Instead damhnait practiced all night long and arrived the next
day only to take first place. She knew that nothing would ever be as
gratifying as the look of shock on her teacher's face that day and that
was the last time she played the clarinet.
damhnait (and her family) thought it best that she focus
on singing (at low volumes) which she studied for ten years. At the same
time, her father and the family were very involved in the drama
community and she was always included in her father's productions,
whether it was playing a little kitten in "Cats" or a variety
of Nuns (go figure).
damhnait's professional music career began six years ago with the
release of her debut album Shadows Wake Me. The first song Canada heard
from damhnait was the multi-format radio hit "List of Things,"
which also charted on MuchMusic. In 1997 the record garnered a Juno
nomination for Best New Solo Artist and five East Coast Music Award
nominations. Going home with empty hands that year made her sweep at the
ECMA's in 2001 that much more meaningful and enjoyable.
For her second record, Hyperdramatic (released on EMI
Music Canada in 2000) damhnait won four ECMA's including female artist
of the year, single, song and video of the year. damhnait also received
two awards from the Music Industry Association of Newfoundland and
Labrador for her efforts.
With it's innovative approach and its success on the video channels,
it is difficult to forget the image of a headless damhnait with her
limbs scattered across the floor in the video "Tattooed,"
which was directed by Noble Jones (Mary J. Blige, Choclair, Sloan).
damhnait collaborated with multi-talented and Cape Breton native,
Gordie Sampson as producer on her latest recording. "When I went to
Cape Breton to work with Gordie, I thought I had all the songs for my
record," reflects damhnait. "Then we wrote 'Afterglow' and I
realized the writing had only just begun. From there (with the exception
of two or three tracks), the record was written and the beds recorded
within two months. I am proud to say that this album really sounds like
me, it is raw and honest with a lot of one pass vocals. On songs like
'Traffic,' 'Every Hit,' and 'Afterglow' we actually kept the late night
"One of the most rewarding aspects for me,"
says damhnait, "was working with my live band in the studio. It
was amazing to bring that energy to the recording."
When it comes to the first single from davnet, "Another
California Song," there is definitely some irony, as it was written
in Cape Breton on a freezing cold day. As well the last scene of the
video damhnait shot for the song was done in minus 30 degree
"Initially I didn't want to be writing yet another California song,
so I tried to substitute another place, but locations like New York and
West Virginia just weren't working for me," comments damhnait.
"Coming from Newfoundland, California has always had this appeal of
being a far off, mythical and warm place where dreams come true. So with
the attraction being so undeniable for me, it just had to be
Delving further into the story behind the song, damhnait
remarks, "This song is the culmination of every relationship I've
ever had. It may have been triggered by one incident, but it wasn't
specifically about that person. Ultimately it is about all lost love and
Every track seems to have a different influence. "This album is
really a collection of stories," concludes damhnait. From her most
personal set of lyrics in "Is It Right," to "Now When The
Rain Falls," which contain the lyrics she is most proud of, even
though this is not a song written from personal experience.
"The key goal for me was to be able to present these stories so
that they would stand-up whether played strip-downed and solo or with my
full band." Mission accomplished.
Damnhait Doyle latest CD “Davnet” is in stores now, or you
can buy on-line at www.hmv.com.
Check out upcoming performances:
Mar. 1 Ottawa, Zaphods, Mar. 2 Montreal, le Petit Campus,
Mar. 3 Halifax, Marquee, Apr. 26 - 27 Ottawa, Atlantic Scene