David Leask’s summer single is a shout-out to caregivers and a toast to empathy
As a lifelong songwriter, David Leask’s radar is always on high alert for fragments of lyrics and music that can be heard in the ether, or simply in a conversation. And it was a touching conversation about empathy containing one of these valuable song starters that sparked David’s emotionally resonant summer single, “Feet In Your Shoes.”
After one of his performances for long-term care residents at the Sunnybrook Veterans Hospital in Toronto, David was speaking with a staff member. He had always been moved by the great care and attention from SVH staff for their residents. A line in the conversation stuck with David.
“The staff member said to me, ‘If only I could have put a little bit of my feet in her shoes.’”
That’s all it took for his songwriting wheels to start turning and a melody was mapped out during his drive home.
At the time, David’s wife, Mary Ellen, was a full-time carer for her mom, who was dealing with dementia, and David was very aware of the challenges that people in those kinds of care situations carry – the risk of burnout and feeling invisible, not only to the person they are caring for with dementia, but to other family members as well. Fueled by the carer’s need for empathy – whether in a hospital setting or in his own home – David set out to write the song “Feet In Your Shoes” and to capture the emotion of a carer’s need for help and lack of courage to ask.
An early demo of the song captured the ears and hearts of industry peers when it won top honours at the 2022 Mississauga Summer Song Contest, and David set to work on recording the final version at Mississauga’s hallowed Metalworks Studio, co-producing the track with Justin Abedin (Jacksoul/Justin Hines). The track features an all-star cast of stellar Canadian musicians, including Lyle Molzan (Jann Arden), Mark McIntyre (Dean Brody), Joel Visentin (Barbra Lica), Bryden Baird (Feist) and Sean O’Connor (NOJO).
“Feet In Your Shoes” is the first single from David’s upcoming eighth album, “One Ray Of Light At A Time”, targeted for a winter 2023 release. The single features energetic, upbeat production with David’s intimate vocal laid down over an infectious rhythm track punctuated by a horn section, stirring electric guitar and Wurlitzer piano. The story moves your heart while the groove moves your body.
David hopes this song will encourage listeners to think of people in their life who could use some understanding and a helping hand. One way they can do that will be by sending “Feet In Your Shoes” with David’s customizable Mobile e(Empathy)Card to someone you want to let know you’re thinking of them and to offer up some love and support at http://www.davidleask.com/ecards