The Beach Boys famously sang the praises of sunny California Girls. The Guess Who wrote about a notoriously seductive American Woman, while Counting Crows crooned about unpredictable, irresistible American Girls.
“I thought it was time someone wrote a song about Canadian girls,” said country singer Dean Brody.
He did — and got a No. 1 single out of it.
His upbeat Canadian Girls tune is about women who like the wilderness, hockey and snowstorms — and can somehow manage to “look sexy in a toque.”
It’s one of four Top 10 singles from Brody’s third best-selling album, Dirt, and has resonated with women across the country, according to the Nova Scotia-based singer.
Brody said he initially ran the lyrics by his wife and assorted female relatives and friends and got the thumbs up. “I definitely tried to write it so as many people as possible could relate to it. But women are so diverse, there’s a thousand different things identifying a Canadian girl.”
His song is about the kind of girls you see in beer commercials. They like woodsy cabins and know how to fish and skate. While many Canadian women work in office towers and don’t know their way around a camp stove, that didn’t seem a good fit on an album whose title track is all about getting covered in soil, he admitted with a chuckle.
“There’s nothing more country than dirt,” said Brody — or, apparently, women who can pull off “high heels and flannel.”
Brody, who performs a headline concert at the Centrium on Saturday, July 20, during Red Deer’s Westerner Days, won two 2012 Canadian Country Music Association Awards for Male Artist of the Year and Album of the Year. He was nominated for a 2013 June Award and headlined his first soldout tour last winter.
To boot, Brody was named one of HELLO! Canada’s Most Beautiful People last month.
The 37-year-old, who relocated with his wife from his native B.C. to Nashville and then Canada’s East Coast, admitted life has been pretty good lately.
“There are expectations with every record, and it makes you nervous and you try to deliver.” But most expectations have been fulfilled with Dirt, he admitted.
However, his anxieties are due to mount again with the fall release of his new record, Crop Circles.
More astute listeners should notice more Celtic influence on the new album, which Brody said is a natural side-effect of living in Nova Scotia.
“I have big respect for East Coast music. I grew up listening to Jimmy Rankin . . . and I think it’s kind of affected my music.”
He noted the song It’s Friday, from Dirt, features contributions from Great Big Sea, “and there’s going to be more of that Maritime feel on the next record. It’s inching its way into my music.”
The singer likes pushing the boundaries of the country genre, whether it means including traces of Celtic, rock or blues flavours. “I grew up listening to all kinds of music, and sometimes I like to see how far I can go in a different direction.”
Brody’s new album is also bound to include some echoes of Mumford and Sons and Dwight Yoakam, since he has been listening a lot to these artists.
The Grammy Award-winning Mumford and Sons has grown so popular, there’s been a backlash against the British group that some accuse of rehashing the same sound. But Brody believes he has the opposite problem: “I almost have to pull myself back. I have ADHD when it comes to writing songs.”
For instance, the title track of Crop Circles is about a farmer who’s convinced aliens have landed in his field, when all along it was “country boys causing trouble.” The track contains guitar-created cricket sounds that morph into “alien noise.”
Brody said he encouraged studio guitarist Jerry McPherson to “go crazy on guitar,” trying different loops until the sounds were far enough “out there.”
Tickets for the 8:30 p.m. show are $20 from Ticketmaster (fair admission and parking fees are extra).