Singled Out: Lee MacDougall's Joanna

02/24/2011
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Lee MacDougall kicks off a new North American tour tomorrow and to celebrate we asked Lee to tell us the song "Joanna," from Lee's new self-released CD. Here is the story:

I always think bad situations tend to bring the best out in my songwriting... basically because when I'm feeling good I'm usually out on the town drinking or something and nowhere near my guitar ha ha. But I had just split with my girlfriend and I was pretty cut up about it and my friend was trying to cheer me up saying I should write a song about it so that at least something good would come from the situation. But the last thing I wanted to do was to sit down and wallow in self pity and write out all my feelings, I'd never done that before and it felt a bit self indulgent. So I fought the urge to write about it for a while until eventually I sat down at my piano and the whole thing just came out. I wrote the bridge first, I just had the line "I'm sorry for being myself" stuck in my head, and I liked that bit because it was a bit sarcastic and immature haha.

I wondered if the world really needed another break-up song, but it was just so brutally honest and un-sugar-coated that I thought there was a good chance people could really relate to it. I like to see honesty in music, and I just laid it all out on the line. It sounds pretty desperate and basically tells the complete conversation of the final nail in the relationship coffin…in chronological order..

I had been listening to a lot of Angels & Airwaves, and also Kate Nash, and I loved the energy in the drums on both records, and I just wanted the drums to sound massive when they kick in on the bridge. It was funny because a friend of mine asked me how I managed to get a choir on it... he didn't realize, in reality, that I had recorded the whole thing in my bedroom by myself, and it was just me crying into my microphone all night!

One of the first times I ever played it live, a guy in his 40s came over to me afterwards and said listening to it made him feel like he was 17 again and took him back to exactly how he felt when he split up with his first girlfriend. I was like, "Great! That's exactly what I wanted!" ... I think he knew what I meant.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself and grab the tour dates right here!

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