Ah, the joys of finding pleasant music surprises when you least expect them. I mean, for those of you playing “2022 Canadian Folk-Roots Music Bingo,” be honest – of all the possible surprises that could be tossed out this year, did you EVER anticipate finding “New Music from Shaye” on your individual game card? Yes, that’s right, Shaye – the all-star trio of Newfoundlanders Damhnait Doyle and Kim Stockwood, and Prince Edward Island’s Tara MacLean, who originally formed in 2002 (at the urging of then EMI president, Deane Cameron) before disbanding in 2007 following a pair of critically acclaimed albums.
Okay, based on the popularity of this trio back in the day, I’m sure that some long-time fans would not be surprised by this announcement – after all, they did reunite back in the summer of 2020 to record and release their single “God,” one written some 25 years earlier, and shared as a musical lifeline to cope with the early stages of this ongoing global pandemic. That was surely a one-off, right? Wrong! Late last month, this Canadian Radio Music Award winning folk-pop trio reunited once more, willed by a strong desire to once again record a song, and this time to celebrate the 20th anniversary of when they first made music together.
Instead of repeating the exercise and finding another old tune, or even re-imagining one of their popular hits, Shaye decided to look a little closer to home for inspiration (calling upon the affable Danny Michel to engineer and mix their eventual choice). “We spent weeks listening to dozens of amazing Canadian songs,” the trio recall. “Finding consensus is never easy with a band, but one day while we were on Zoom, reviewing our shortlist yet again, Damhnait looked out of her window and saw Charlotte Cornfield walking down the street.”
Now, whenever I hear the name Charlotte Cornfield, it seems that her 2019 hit single “Silver Civic” is always the first track that springs to mind – so I completely understand how Shaye felt the same way. “The universe sealed the deal. Charlotte’s Silver Civic spoke to us equally and we wish we wrote it,” they share. “The heartbreak where you see the person you love everywhere, in everything. We wanted to take people on that journey of loss and longing with us. Now every car we see is a silver civic!”
“I used to find you just by chance / At the back of a concert bar you had me in a trance / And I read our letters now / How could you have felt those things packed up / And driven out of town / When every silver civic was your car / And I was gonna be a star / And you were gonna be mine / When every silver civic was your car / And I was gonna be a start / And you were gonna be mine.”
Shaye recently announced spending time together in rehearsals for a handful of shows in PEI next month. If only Doyle, Stockwood, and MacLean would stick together for a little while longer and bring some shows out this way … I know for sure that I’m not alone in wishing for such an opportunity.