Canadian singer-songwriter Brooklyn Doran is back with her first new release in three years.
Her new single “I Can’t Be Alone With You” sets her signature crystal-clear vocals against a dream-like soundscape, setting the tone for that heady experience of hooking up with “that person who you know is wrong for you, that meeting up with them would be a mistake, who you’ve blocked on Instagram, but who you’d still find a way to go over to their place at 3am,” says Doran.
We chatted with her this week.
SDTC: What was happening in your personal life when you were writing “I Can’t Be Alone With You” ?
BD: “I Can’t Be Alone With You” is a song about looking back on an old relationship. I was thinking about the concept of how sometimes when we look back on the relationships we’ve had throughout our lives, we only remember the exciting parts, and forget how those people have hurt us. Sometimes there is this energy between two people that feels so important and exciting that it dumbs down the part of our brains that knows that seeing them again is not going to end well. I wanted to capture that idea in the song.
What’s your earliest memory of songwriting?
I remember in kindergarten I would stand at the top of my driveway and wait for the bus to pick me up. I would play a game with myself where I would describe every single detail about what I would see at the bus stop to pass the time, and make up little songs. I was a nerd.
What have you learned about yourself in the past year?
Over the past year I have learned more about balance. There is no road map to success and often-times arts workers feel as though they should be doing everything all of the time in order to not be perceived as failing. It is especially hard as an independent artist where sometimes half or more of our time is working in positions outside of the arts to try and make ends meet. My goal for 2020 is to “work smarter, not harder.” I haven’t quite figured out how to do that yet, but I think that it is the key to unlock that element of balance in my life.
What is a fun, little-known fact about you?
I am actually a pretty awesome saxophone player.
What book/film/show have you connected with recently, and what about it appeals to you?
When I was a teenager, I stumbled upon a book of Leonard Cohen poetry at the Longbow Lake Garage Sale in my hometown. It was one of those, fill a grocery bag with as many books as you can for $5 sort of deal. I always, ALWAYS go back to that book of poetry.
What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve been given?
“Why don’t you just go on The Voice?”
What is your motto at the moment?
In every choice you make, level up. No lateral moves.
What do you hope listeners take away from your latest single?
I hope that my listeners are able to connect foremost with the lyrics of the song. With the arrangement and sound, the goal I have with my music is to express feelings or ideas that are difficult to explain or capture in just words.
What are the qualities you like least and most about yourself?
Most: I am a hard worker
Least: I am totally afraid of conflict
Rewind five years. What advice would you give yourself?
Believe in yourself. Take more risks!
What are you currently listening to in heavy rotation?
Here are my top three albums in rotation right now, all by incredible femme singer-songwriters.
Good Luck Kid by Joseph
Remind Me Tomorrow by Sharon Van Etten
the new single Tokyo by Julien Baker
What childhood memory makes you laugh out loud?
Definitely the time I went to a haunted house with my mom. We were so scared that all we could do was laugh!
What unnecessary object would you love to own?
Something that folds all of my laundry for me!
What issue do you wish people took more seriously?
At any given time there are more than 100 clean drinking water advisories across First Nations reserves in Canada. Indigenous people of all nations have been talking about this, and important issues like this for decades, and there is always very little media coverage.
What outfit makes you feel the most you?
I love a 70’s inspired jumpsuit and a huge platform shoe.
Who/what has surprised you lately, and how?
One of the best things about touring and releasing new music is that through that, I am able to reconnect with some old friends. I think that is the most pleasantly surprising thing about what I am doing.
What is your favourite song from your new album, and why?
It always changes, but right now I’m very very excited for the next single that is due to drop in 2020. It is a song about one of my closest friends, who inspires me to this day.
What holiday memory stands out to you the most?
I always remember around the holidays when I was a child, I would get an Archie comic in my stocking and that was my favourite thing.
What are your plans for the holiday season this year?
This year I have a BUNCH of family to visit over December, but I am mostly hoping to relax and drink baileys and coffee near the fire.
How do you recharge after being on the road?
I spend a lot of my year touring! When I’m home, the first thing I want to do is take a bath.