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Doug MacNaughton’s forthcoming debut features a song inspired by the loss of his siblings


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 Doug lays out his grief.

The corresponding music video shows Doug 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 Doug’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,” he said. “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,” Doug said. “It’s hard, but there will always be a piece of them in your heart.”

Doug MacNaughton grew up in Brandon, MB, playing in the school band and singing in choirs, but what really sparked his interest in music was listening to Mike Oldfield’s 1973 album Tubular Bells – he loved that the same person played all the instruments. Doug 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.


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