Loss can be wrenching, no matter who is no longer in our lives, and Brandon, MB-based singer-songwriter Doug MacNaughton provides reassurance and a salve in his new single “So Lost Without You” from his forthcoming album Old Enough To Know Better.
The song starts out shimmery, and then morphs into an introspective ’70s-tinged folk-pop ballad. The sadness is overlaid with a marching, sunny optimism as MacNaughton lays out his grief:
You were here for the best days of my life
Now you’re gone, I don’t know what to say
I lift my eyes, I just see darkness all around
The world was brighter in the days we stood
He searches his heart for a way to keep going and finds a well of internal optimism. “Fear shouts – but love whispers and is heard,” he sings. “Fear doubts – but love whispers and I’m reassured.”
Watch “So Lost Without Out” on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ISazxNJImU
The corresponding music video shows MacNaughton wandering around a town alone, with flashbacks of him with walking around the very same town, but with a dog at his side. His feeling of lost searching is palpable as he meanders the streets in a daze. Finally, he ends up walking into a branch of the Humane Society, where he finds a new companion, a fluffy little pup to walk alongside again.
The song was simultaneously inspired by MacNaughton’s loss of his siblings when he was a young man, as well as the sadness that can come from losing a beloved pet.
“My brother was killed in a motorbike crash when I was 18, and my oldest sister died of cancer when I was 29,” MacNaughton says. “I wrote this song when I was 55 as a way of dealing with that loss. People are not always comfortable talking about that kind of tragedy, but not talking about it makes it more difficult. This is for Bill and Elspeth…”
Different types of loss are impossible to compare, but anyone who has experienced one loss can understand a little bit of someone else’s. “It’s also a song for anyone who has had their dog or cat pass away,” MacNaughton says. “It’s hard, but there will always be a piece of them in your heart.”
Listen on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/track/7labjtG0K8O8eEGiCuXUWC?si=e0bc0ac2e40d4efd&nd=1
MacNaughton attended Brandon University, where he had to make the choice between being a tuba major or a voice major, and so he chose voice.
That led to an eclectic stage/concert career, which included singing a Frank Zappa tribute concert with a Montréal-based electronic music ensemble; a stint with Les Misérables; a summer at the Stratford Festival, some musicals, a couple of Shakespeare roles, an actor/musician production of Man of La Mancha; and some orchestra work and a few operas.
But the whole time, he still had his love of rock, jazz, prog, and other musical styles. He wrote his first songs in 2017 and started hanging around the Toronto indie-music and singer/songwriter scenes. Five years later, he recorded eight of his own songs, resulting in his album Old Enough To Know Better, slated for release this summer.