9 Songs, 34 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Over the past decade, Doug Paisley has very quietly become your favorite singer-songwriters' favorite singer-songwriter—not a household name (yet), but an artist whose every song somehow sounds and feels like a classic. For Starter Home, his first album in four years—and his first since becoming a father in 2014—he decided to stay close to his family and record in studios throughout his Toronto neighborhood. Warm, lived-in, and captured on the fly, it finds Paisley continuing to blur the lines between country and folk, subtle and immediate, familiar and new. He spoke to Apple Music about John Lennon, parenthood, and process.

Which song on the record best captures what it’s most about?
I love “Drinking With a Friend,” because it came about so spontaneously. When I listen to it or play it, I feel like someone is telling me a story and I’m meant to figure it out. I also really like “Starter Home”—it was a live vocal, guitar, and one other guy. My last album was a lot of effort and a lot of work. I just wanted something so spontaneous. It was one take and, really, nothing done to it. It is as it was.

How has fatherhood changed the way you work?
I used to be so obsessed with John Lennon. Right at the end of his life, he was so into this domestic thing, or at least that’s how it played out. I’ve been thinking about him a lot and how my son is the same age as his son was when he lost his dad. I remember these stories John would tell—how he’d describe baking bread and staying home and going to the park. I’m realizing what he was talking about. I really love this life, especially now that I’ve figured how to work in it. It’s great. It’s like that Merle Haggard song “What’s Wrong With Stayin’ Home.” It makes it hard to leave.

Is that why this album took longer to make?
I guess so, yeah. I really did record this album more or less three times. It actually took that much time to realize how I wanted to do it. There’s an album’s worth of extra tunes. It was probably because of how my life had changed, but it was also this long creative process. I think I was a little dissatisfied doing it all with the same approach that I had with the previous album, with a full band. I needed to get more private and more self-directed, to pull back and get more of myself.

What did you have in mind?
I wanted the songs to be strong and I wanted to feel good about them and I wanted to go through the process and know that, at the end of it, I would still feel good about them five years later. You learn that you have to carry them more than other people do.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Over the past decade, Doug Paisley has very quietly become your favorite singer-songwriters' favorite singer-songwriter—not a household name (yet), but an artist whose every song somehow sounds and feels like a classic. For Starter Home, his first album in four years—and his first since becoming a father in 2014—he decided to stay close to his family and record in studios throughout his Toronto neighborhood. Warm, lived-in, and captured on the fly, it finds Paisley continuing to blur the lines between country and folk, subtle and immediate, familiar and new. He spoke to Apple Music about John Lennon, parenthood, and process.

Which song on the record best captures what it’s most about?
I love “Drinking With a Friend,” because it came about so spontaneously. When I listen to it or play it, I feel like someone is telling me a story and I’m meant to figure it out. I also really like “Starter Home”—it was a live vocal, guitar, and one other guy. My last album was a lot of effort and a lot of work. I just wanted something so spontaneous. It was one take and, really, nothing done to it. It is as it was.

How has fatherhood changed the way you work?
I used to be so obsessed with John Lennon. Right at the end of his life, he was so into this domestic thing, or at least that’s how it played out. I’ve been thinking about him a lot and how my son is the same age as his son was when he lost his dad. I remember these stories John would tell—how he’d describe baking bread and staying home and going to the park. I’m realizing what he was talking about. I really love this life, especially now that I’ve figured how to work in it. It’s great. It’s like that Merle Haggard song “What’s Wrong With Stayin’ Home.” It makes it hard to leave.

Is that why this album took longer to make?
I guess so, yeah. I really did record this album more or less three times. It actually took that much time to realize how I wanted to do it. There’s an album’s worth of extra tunes. It was probably because of how my life had changed, but it was also this long creative process. I think I was a little dissatisfied doing it all with the same approach that I had with the previous album, with a full band. I needed to get more private and more self-directed, to pull back and get more of myself.

What did you have in mind?
I wanted the songs to be strong and I wanted to feel good about them and I wanted to go through the process and know that, at the end of it, I would still feel good about them five years later. You learn that you have to carry them more than other people do.

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Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
4 Ratings

4 Ratings

Irish Mick ,

Outstanding

A true gem. Doug’s in wonderful form here

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