Singled Out: Maia Sharp's Phoenix

Maia Sharp's last Singled Out was so popular that we asked her to share another song story! Today she tells us about the song "Phoenix" from her brand new album "The Dash Between the Dates," which will be released tomorrow (October 16th). Here is the story:

I wrote "Phoenix," a song about coming back unexpectedly and stronger than ever, with the secret plan that, by the time it was finished, life would have imitated art. I had hit a writer's shrug. It wasn't a block, I still had ideas, but a series of risks that didn't go my way had turned me into the big, heavy block that couldn't be moved. When sullen, aloof and counterproductive got old it was time to push through, shut up and write my way out of it.

When I did finish, it felt like I had beaten the big shrug but I didn't know if that was just because it was my personal story or because it was actually any good. So I played it for my like-a-brother friend, Edwin McCain who, at the time, was filming his boat restoration show "Flipping Ships." I thought the boat metaphors in "Phoenix" might resonate but I really wanted to know if it felt relatable to anyone but me. Edwin gave me just the reaction I needed. He felt so connected to it that he performed it acoustically on the show with his friend Darius Rucker and then he recorded acoustic and full band versions for his "Phoenix EP" on iTunes. Okay, so I wasn't delusional (about this anyway) and maybe I was on to something.

The writing voice was broader and more humble. I had come back different. I took a lot of time to keep that voice working with the next batch of songs for The Dash Between the Dates, especially for its title cut. I also had a renewed appreciation for the excitement about writing songs. For years, it didn't matter how the business game was going…record deals, publishing deals, song placements, good tours, bad tours, affirmation, rejection all waxed and waned and none of it had ever affected my love of the writing itself. I had been taking that for granted. Never again.

Living up to its name, "Phoenix" has already had many lives; three with Edwin and two rounds with me before my final album version was brought home by Linda Taylor's brilliant track reinvention and Arnold McCuller's sultry harmony.

Hearing is believing. Now that you know the story behind the song, listen for yourself here and learn more about the album right here!

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