Single from upcoming album Say What You Like, out March 17th; Accompanied by impressively executed music video directed by Colin Medley.
Doug Paisley’s new tune “Sometimes It’s So Easy” clocks in at just under two-and-a-half minutes long, but listeners will be challenged to get the song’s wordless singalong hook out of their heads over the course of the next day or week or year. The ease with which the melody sticks speaks volumes to Paisley’s comfortable musical nature and familiar-feeling vocal delivery. And the fact that the happy-go-lucky sounding turnaround compliments some pretty heady subject matter make it all the more impressive.
Under The Radar premiered the track who described it, “‘Sometimes It’s So Easy’ leans into both the easygoing folk pop and ambling country sides of Paisley’s songwriting, shaded with nimble fingerpicked acoustics and a twangy guitar solo.” They also added, “Paisley’s performance is light and breezy as if made for open roads and blue skies.” Under The Radar also praised the album itself stating, “Say What You Like captures the breadth of Paisley’s songwriting, taking turns into pastoral folk arrangements, light pop grooves, and poignant country confessions.”
When describing the genesis of “Sometimes It’s So Easy,” Paisley says, “Sometimes emotional survival and self-preservation require that we find the ruthless and the blithe within ourselves. ” The song’s lyrics fall within these lines of inspiration—“Sometimes it’s so easy to move on / Not caring where you’re going / Without a thought to loved ones past and gone / And no way of knowing”—but the feeling is anything but melancholy. With the help of producer Afie Jurvanen, perhaps best known as recording artist BAHAMAS, “Sometimes It’s So Easy” moves from thumpy, fingerpicked verses to half-time-groovy, head-bobbing refrains ripe with layers of wild guitars. Luckily for fans of Paisley’s new tune, it’s very indicative of how the rest of his upcoming album, Say What You Like, will make them feel.
The accompanying music video for “Sometimes It’s So Easy” features a feat just as impressive as penning the song in the first place. “Doug told me that when he was a teenager he once biked from Mount Pleasant Cemetery all the way to the waterfront with no hands,” recalls director Colin Medley. “I’m not sure I fully believed him, but when we showed up on the Toronto Islands to film this video, not only could he still effortlessly bike without touching his handlebars, he could do so while singing and playing guitar for take after take. It was one of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen.” With few and far between cut-away shots, the entire film follows Paisley on his bike—guitar in hands—picking and singing “Sometimes It’s So Easy.” In retrospect, Paisley says, “I risked my body and my 1950 Gibson guitar for the stunt and in hindsight, I guess it lines up with some of the recklessness in the song itself.” Watch daredevil Doug do his thing right here.
Due out on March 17th, Say What You Like is Paisley’s first release since 2018’s Starter Home which landed on The New Yorker’s Ten Best Albums of the Year and a step in a brand new direction as the first release with Paisley’s new record label Outside Music, a welcoming, Canada-based home for a Canadian artist who’s long been signed to U.S.-based labels.
Culled from 250 unrecorded songs spanning a decade of unregulated creativity, the Canadian songwriter’s Say What You Like is a snapshot of an artist functioning at his best and highest level—honest, exposed, searching, and yet comforting in his ability to communicate the universal in the struggles of the individual. And, with the help of Jervanen it manages to be groovy too. One gets the sense from these songs that Paisley simply must write. “As a songwriter these days,” he reflected earlier this year, “there’s very little to gain and very little to lose so I am working only from the heart, there’s no other motive.” And on Say What You Like, it shows.
Fans can stream or purchase “Sometimes It’s So Easy” now at this link, check out the previously-released title track, “Say What You Like,” and pre-save or pre-order Say What You Like ahead of its March 17th release right here.
Say What You Like Tracklist:
Say What You Like
Sometimes It’s So Easy
Wide Open Plain
If I Wanted To
I Wanted It Too Much
Make It A Double
You Turn My Life Around
More About Doug Paisley:
Since the release of his self-titled debut fifteen years ago, Doug Paisley has earned accolades for unflinchingly self-reflective songs delivered with simplicity and beauty. Though Paisley has always collaborated with topnotch Canadian musicians including luminaries like Garth Hudson, Leslie Feist, and Mary Margaret O’Hara, his records have drawn poignancy also from moments where the listener hears Paisley as he most often hears himself: unadorned and alone with his guitar. The critical response to Paisley’s sophomore release, Constant Companion, underlined this quality. MOJO, naming the album one of the top ten of 2010, found in its “rare kind of purity” evidence that “an anti-star is born.” While Rolling Stone deemed it to be a “nearly perfect singer-songwriter record,” UNCUT described it as “sure-footed and ageless…uncluttered, sad and unerringly lovely.” The “quiet and contemplative” nature of Paisley’s last record, Starter Home, continued this trend, earning it a place in The New Yorker’s top ten albums of 2018.