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On her third album, singer/songwriter damhnait doyle wanted to give listeners a very live sounding, honest record. She entitled the new album, davnet 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 yet.

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 demo vocals."

"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 temperatures.
"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 California."

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 missed opportunities."

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