No shortage of raw emotion to fuel group

If ever a band was well named, it’s The Heartbroken. The four Toronto-based band members were recently nominated for a Canadian Country Music Association Group of the Year Award for singing raw songs about regret, loneliness and — of course — heartbreak.

The Heartbroken bring their raw songs about regret

The Heartbroken bring their raw songs about regret

If ever a band was well named, it’s The Heartbroken.

The four Toronto-based band members were recently nominated for a Canadian Country Music Association Group of the Year Award for singing raw songs about regret, loneliness and — of course — heartbreak.

“What I really love is the opportunity to tell a story through music,” said the group’s singer Damhnait (pronounced DAV-net) Doyle, who isn’t shy about drawing on emotionally draining experiences as subject matter for songs.

While she’s now happily married, Doyle contends her life is littered with enough romantic detritus “for about 18 more records.”

“Sadly, there’s infinite material. There’s no shortage of raw emotions to inspire new work . . .”

The group that performs at The Hideout, in Gasoline Alley south of Red Deer on Thursday, is perhaps best known for the tune Seventeen, off the debut album, Tonight Tonight. It’s about a person whose life has gone off the rails thinking back to youthful hopes and aspirations.

When Doyle was 17, she had just cut her first solo album and was poised to leave her native Newfoundland for wider musical horizons in Toronto. While she’s stayed the music business over the next couple of decades, the 35-year-old singer said, “I’m in a totally different place now than where I thought I would be at 17 — but I think it’s a better place.”

For one thing, she’s no longer a solo act, having hooked up with fellow musicians Blake Manning, Peter Fusco, and Stuart Cameron, who share her sense of cutting to the emotional bone in songwriting.

“We kind of found each other as a band,” said Doyle, who believes their shared philosophy is to side-step “slickness” to reach “a viseral place, as opposed to a cerebral place.”

By writing about sometimes painful emotions, Doyle believes The Heartbroken instantly connects with listeners who have been in the same dark places.

“A lot of people relate to the stuff we’ve been through.”

For instance, Save Yourself is a story song with searing lyrics that particularly resonate with Doyle. It’s based on a female friend of hers who tried to be a “fixer,” but found out, through getting involved in an abusive relationship, that not everyone can be saved.

Although Doyle grew up in a theatrical family listening to the music of Willie Nelson and George Jones, The Heartbroken never specifically set out to be a country band, she said — yet the group is connecting with a country audience, perhaps because of the emotional content of its songs.

Getting the 2011 CCMA nomination is “incredibly exciting. It was one of those things that absolutely thrilled us,” said Doyle, who also looks forward to going to Nashville later this year. The Heartbroken plans to draw on more hard-luck tales for its second album.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

— copyright Red Deer Advocate

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

House sales remain hot in central Alberta with first-quarter sales nearly double last year’s numbers. Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Central Alberta real estate market hot in 2021

Residential sales nearly double 2020 in first quarter

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer gave an update on Olymel's COVID-19 situation on Wednesday. (File photo by Advocate staff).
Veer addresses rising COVID-19 cases in Red Deer

Red Deer has added nearly 200 cases of active COVID-19 cases in past week

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw and Premier Jason Kenney say the province would look at adding additional COVID-19 measures in the coming weeks if the virus continues to spread. (Photo by Government of Alberta)
Walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic to open in Red Deer

Alberta adds 1,345 new cases of the virus

Innisfail RCMP are investigating a single-vehicle crash that happened west of Bowden on March 21, 2021. (File photo by Advocate staff)
RCMP investigate culturally insensitive graffiti at Sylvan Lake school

Sylvan Lake RCMP is investigating a vandalism incident. On April 17 around… Continue reading

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks' Tanner Pearson, right, celebrates after scoring against Toronto Maple Leafs goalie David Rittich during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Pearson, Sutter each score twice as Canucks dump Leafs 6-3

Pearson, Sutter each score twice as Canucks dump Leafs 6-3

Everton's Gylfi Sigurdsson celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's second goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, Friday, April 16, 2021. (Peter Powell/Pool via AP)
Super League collapses after the 6 English clubs withdraw

Super League collapses after the 6 English clubs withdraw

Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez delivers against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, April 20, 2021, at Fenway Park in Boston. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Bogaerts’ 3-run HR, Rodriguez lift BoSox over Blue Jays 4-2

Bogaerts’ 3-run HR, Rodriguez lift BoSox over Blue Jays 4-2

Pound says Olympic qualifying issues a concern to IOC

Pound says Olympic qualifying issues a concern to IOC

Former University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of B.C. varsity women’s team

Rowing Canada sanctions former head coach of B.C. varsity women’s team

Ontario Hockey League cancels 2020-21 season as COVID-19 cases surge in province

Ontario Hockey League cancels 2020-21 season as COVID-19 cases surge in province

Lionel Desmond (front row, far right) was part of the 2nd battalion, of the Royal Canadian Regiment, based at CFB Gagetown and shown in this 2007 handout photo taken in Panjwai district in between patrol base Wilson and Masum Ghar in Afghanistan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Facebook-Trev Bungay MANDATORY CREDIT
Desmond inquiry: Veterans Affairs submits internal review after initial refusal

Desmond inquiry: Veterans Affairs submits internal review after initial refusal

FILE - In this Feb. 18, 2021 file photo State representatives gather at the Capitol, in Phoenix. Two years after Arizona lawmakers repealed a law barring any instruction on HIV or AIDS that that "promotes a homosexual lifestyle," they are close to enacting a broad remake of the state's sex education laws with a particular focus on LGBTQ issues. (AP Photo/Matt York,File)
Arizona governor vetoes strict sex education legislation

Arizona governor vetoes strict sex education legislation

Most Read