Behind each Song is a Story

TIME  

After the Waterlilies/Park Bench incident in New York, I began to take regular trips to see Green Eyes. I went with wide open eyes free from all the things that I’ve heard about New York and relationships. I desired to know these things for myself and see the city and my new friend for who they really were- the good, the bad, and the garbage. 

Over time it became clear to me that I wanted to come and live in New York, and at first I was very enthusiastic about it, but when I went home to tie up loose ends in Toronto all of my fears started to creep in and prevent me from taking this huge leap of faith. 

What if I wasn’t good enough for this World Class city? Or for this super amazing guy? What if I lose myself, forget who I am and where I come from in New York’s jungle of people and things created lose yourself in? What if..what if.. what if… My mind, she was spinning quickly and spraying these shit thoughts all over my brain at a mile a minute. 

A deal needed to be struck to ease my worried. One with New York, and with Green Eyes. 

‘Listen here’ I said to New York. ‘I’m coming to you on one condition. I am not going to get into the New York pace of things, I will not be rushed. I will take you as you are, and you will take me as I am.' 

“And to you Mr. Green Eye’s, I will not be caught up in the pressures of moving this relationship along in a linear fashion. I need to move slowly and stay awake, attuned to the changes that love will bring forth is us. Promise we will move lightly, lightly ever lightly. Promise me we will take our time’. 

And from that deal struck, I wrote a song called ‘Time’. It has a very 90’s singer song writer vibe that I’m really into. Check it out here. 

As always, thanks for listening :)

ADVICE  

Have you ever had a major crush on a person who is in a relationship that is so obviously wrong for them and you wished you could just shake them awake to the potential of your romance? Like Francesca and Dev in ‘Master of None’. 

Thats what this song is about. 

For this story, lets call him Albert. 

Albert and I had known each other for years and shared a sexy and fun chemistry but we had never gotten together because we were always in relationships with other people. But I was single and ready to mingle at the time he invited me to his house warming party. 

He had come over to my place in a UHaul truck to gift me his old desk and looked frazzled and sad when he showed up so I asked why. He told me how he and his girlfriend had been fighting, and he felt she was cruel to him. He said he thought it was over. 

Over, really? How interesting… 

At the party I wore an old Rolling Stones t-shirt and a sick wooly sweater I had just purchased at the Fairfax Flea. I walked in and Albert immediately greeted me arms wide open and led me to a chair to sit with him and talk. 

‘When do you know its over, Dayle?’ he asked me with big, sad puppy dog eyes. ‘Like how did you know it was over for you and your ex?’. 

I inhaled slowly, this was the moment I had been waiting for. I opened my mouth and was about to reply ‘ Wake up! How could you mistake that bullshit for love? Love should make you strong, and strength isn’t holding on to relationships that don’t serve you. Be with me, you fool!’ but alas, I was interrupted by a giggly drunk person who wanted to talk about Trumps latest scandal. 

On the way home I felt sad that I never got to tell Albert how I felt. I felt sad that he was with someone who treated him badly. I felt sad that he and I both knew that I could offer him something real, but he was choosing something, someone, different.  In the shallow depths of feeling sorry for myself I realized that DUH!  I was the one who needed my advice; ‘Don’t mistake this bullshit for love. He doesn’t see you the way you need to be seen. He is clearly choosing something different and that is his right to do so. Move on.’ 

Then I went home and wrote this song. Its called ‘Advice’. Its one of my favorites, so I hope you like it too. Thanks for listening! 

Until next time… 

Dayle

WATERLILIES  

This past summer I stumbled across a book written in the early 1900's called 'The Game of Life and How to Play it' by a woman named Florence Scovel Shinn. The book was part self help, part Christian mysticism, and part Old-Lady-Telling-You-How-It-Is. I read the book in one sitting and the last page posed a question- What is your gut telling you to do RIGHT NOW? Her advice was to do it. Whatever it was, do it. 

I put the book down, closed my eyes and tried to listen to the inner callings of my soul. Immediately New York came to mind. 

I was…ahem…a little broke at the time but determined to make this happen, so I booked an overnight bus ticket to NYC and posted on Facebook about needing a place to stay. Luckily a friend was in town for a Frank Ocean performance on the 4th of July and offered me the hotel room he was staying in. 

In the morning on July 4th I got up early to spend the day following my impulse in Central Park to find out why I was brought there. The park was sparkling with life that day and I basked in the jazz buskers, the Afrobats, and children blowing giant bubbles  in the air with a bucket of soapy water and lasso’d ropes. 

After a few hours I was hungry, but not willing to spend my rationed cash at an Upper West Side restaurant. So I procured a banana and granola bar from a deli and made my way back to the park to find a nice bench to sit and enjoy my lunch. 

I found the perfect bench near the entrance on 72nd St (by the Dakota where John Lennon was shot). About five feet to my right were three young men speaking in English accents. Two of them reminded me of Gregory Goyle and Vincent Crabbe from the Harry Potter movies, but the other I could not take my eyes off of. He was young, his skin was bright and plump, he wore glasses but I could make out the bright green of his eyes with my sideways glance (stare, really. I’m a starer). His energy was warm, cheeky and sweet. 

Just as quickly as I finished my banana, Goyle and Crabbe got up to leave and said ‘It was really nice to meet you’ to Mr. Green Eyes- which puzzled me because by the sound of their conversation, their familiar hugging and the fact that they all had English accents, I would have thought they all knew each other. Thankfully Mr. GE sat back down to check his phone and I had the perfect moment to ask him about what was happening over there. 

“I don’t understand, you said nice to meet you to those guys but you were hugging them as if you’ve known them forever?’ I asked. 

He turned to me and smiled, pausing only half a second to check out the dark red dress I was wearing before answering “Oh, I’m the unofficial tour guide of New York for my friend’s English friends, they all get send to me so I’ve spent the last two days showing them around and the last stop was Central Park”. 

I told him I could relate because as a Canadian in L.A my friends would link me with their Canadian friends. Then he told me about how he just graduated from Columbia in the Theatre Directing Program. Then I tell him about my new Music Video. Then he tells me more passionately than I’ve ever seen anyone be, about how Kanye West is the David Bowie of our generation. 

His phone rang and it was his friend notifying him that he was late for dinner. We hadn’t noticed that we had been sitting on that bench for almost four hours talking. He asked if I would like to go to a party with him that night. I said yes, and he left me with his number. 

We ended up in the West Village on a rooftop party where we were greeted by Joe Biagini at the door. Yes. THE Joe Biagini. Apparently the party was for the Blue Jays who were in town playing the Mets. Green Eyes and I danced, talked, and at the end of the night shared a very sweet kiss. 

The next morning he cancelled his plans to meet me at the MoMa- the last stop of my trip before I went on the bus back to Toronto. Walking down the street together he commented that our meeting was so fated it felt like some sort of Woody Allen film. Ah yes, I thought. ‘But what kind of Woody Allen film?’ I asked. ‘We’re barely into act one. This could be a comedy, a tragedy, a romance..who knows? If it’s a romance like we suspect, there will be a moment where we know for sure the characters are falling in love’. 

Inside the MoMa he showed me the new Steve McQueen exhibit and we scoured each room for the painting that made us feel something, and compared. 

We wandered down the stairs onto a bustling floor filled with tourist and weaved through the crowd for refuge in an emptier room I noticed on my right. 

We walked in, and before I even saw the painting that was hanging on the wall, I felt the most curious feeling. It was like being suspended in air, like flying- but more quiet. It was like that scene in ‘The Crown’ where Prince Philip has his first flying lesson and the pilot turns of the engine to float. I slowly backed away from this bluish, purplish, greenish expanse of a painting to get a better perspective. Completely in rapture I quietly gasped when the full image was grasped by my consciousness. I burst into tears. My experience of the painting’s sublime beauty was full body.  Then, with the same vulnerability as one might have after losing themselves in most spiritual orgasm ever, I looked at G.E and saw that he had witnessed my whole experience, and his eyes were watery too. He brought me into his chest and we stood there, hugging in front of Monet’s Waterlilies for a few moments longer. 

It was then I knew that this was definitely a romance. 

On my twelve hour bus ride home I wrote the lyrics of this new song that I called Waterlilies. Here it is! 

Thanks for listening!

FRIENDS  

Last year I took two months off work to go back home to Ontario (I was living in L.A at the time) and be alone in a cabin in nature to write an album. The impulse came about after an intense couple of years that involved recovery from a stint in hospital, a divorce, a death and a move to a new country. I didn’t know who I was anymore, but instinctively I knew that I needed to take life by the balls again and do something for myself in order to find out. 

So I left my job in L.A, left the sweet guy I was seeing and isolated myself in a small house with a beautiful piano in the living room. I had my guitar, a bag of weed, my dog Mr. Peanut Butter and some books on meditation. I was ready for the sweet buttery waves of inspiration to pulse through me to create whatever it was I was going to create (hopefully my self). 

The object of my procrastination was the piano in the living room. It was ornately decorated and seemed to have the spirit of some old robust man. I day dreamed about us speaking to one another- mostly I imagined this piano scorning me for all of the years that I had neglected the practice of music, and not recognized it for the essential part it played in my well being. I realized that the relationship to my own creativity was just that- a relationship, and to add to that, it was a romantic one. 

I had neglected myself and my art and as a result it neglected me; just like a lover would have had I treated it with the same disregard. I hadn’t made anything not because inspiration never struck, but because I was too busy involved in my own life’s dramas to give anything back to that inspiration. What a terrible lover I had been! 

I imagined the piano was speaking to me through melody and feeling- it was angry at me, it provoked me, and I imaged myself as a dancer, speaking back to it through a whirlwind of movement. Maybe we were on a first date, or maybe we were lovers seeing each other for the first time in years, or maybe we had spent life times together… I was writing the scene all down in my journal and before I knew it I had a beautiful idea for a short film on my hands. 

Okay, okay, what does this have to do with my new song FRIENDS? Don’t worry, we are getting there! 

I told my best girlfriend about the idea (she happens to be a dancer) and she loved it. She said lets make it! I said ‘Yes!’ of course, I was so excited that she wanted to be a part of it. But first I had to finish what I had started, my E.P! 

While I was finishing my E.P my dancer friend told me that she had secured $20 000.00 to get the short film made. It was a miracle! We worked out that I would be one of the dancers in the film, she the other, and because of her keen interest in directing, this would be her directorial debut. 

To my surprise, she decided that she wanted to shoot ten days after we heard the news about the money, which was ambitious because I’m not a trained dancer and I was in rehearsals 5 days a week for a play I was doing. I told her I would need at least two months for training. She refused. So I supplemented by lack of experience by taking three to four dance classes a day before and after rehearsals for the play to ready myself. 

The day before we were to shoot, she called me to say that she, as director, had changed her mind about casting because she didn’t want to embarrass herself with my lack of skill. She took my name of the script, hired another actress and shot the film without me. 

I was crushed. 

My friends said ‘Sue her!’. But that felt like a waste of time. I was confused… Why was this happening? I had reformed so well… I was taking my creativity seriously again, giving it tons of love, time and attention…why was this one leaving me? 

Then I imagined my great, big, provocative friend the Piano and saw his misgeivious grin widen as he asked me ‘What will you do now?’. 

My best friend David Real was in a play last summer in Montreal called 'Asher Lev’, about a Jewish prodigy painter who crushes his family

when he becomes obsessed with images of the Christ. There is a great scene where Asher is being trained by a master painter but he is frustrated at him because he was painting a man whom he hated, but he was being polite about it. ‘Paint your hate!!’ he shouted at Asher. 

So thats what I did. I painted my hate through song. I knew the only way to rise above the petty drama of what happened was just to make some art and move on. This wasn’t my first rodeo, the piano had taught me not to waste my time anymore and get to work. I heeded this lesson and wrote this funny little song, and Sam Coyle and I have teamed up again for the music video featuring two dancers and a piano that you can watch here.