Damhnait Doyle covers classics on Lights Down Low

Damhnait Doyle says she has nothing to prove.

She’s a veritable Canadian renaissance woman. Having established herself as an East Coast Music Award winning solo artist, girl group member, newspaper columnist, author and activist, Doyle is adding another credential to her list: Wife.

“I’m in a really great, happy place in my life personally and I found the person that I will be having children with,” beams the 32-year-old Newfoundland native. She’s the last member of East Coast trio-turned-duo Shaye (after bandmates Kim Stockwood and recently departed Tara MacLean) to take the marital plunge and contemplate children.


But Doyle says being in a band with two wives and mothers has taught her the difficulties and joys of enjoying both a personal life and a career. “Being a parent is the most important and difficult job on Earth.” And while she can’t wait for the day to have her own children, she says she is also excited for the challenge that lies ahead. “It’s certainly not impossible. Women were having babies in this field and then going straight back to work. Hard is relative.”

It’s that commensurate attitude Doyle takes whenever approaching a new project. Combined with her love of music, that is why she was motivated to undertake the challenge posed to her on Lights Down Low, her new album of cover songs. “I wanted to find the polished diamond hidden behind the rough and make it really sultry, sexy and smooth,” she says.

From brooding Joy Division to buoyant ABBA, her renditions reflect instrumental reinventions and pared down, sensual vocals. It’s wine drinking music and, as Doyle expresses, it was a marriage of wine and the production calibre of Kitchener, Ont., indie rocker Danny Michel that made the album sing.

“He was constantly surprising me,” she says. “He’d go in and lay down the guitar, I’d go in and sing and then he’d build a track all around it and send it to me. What I love about it is that we had no parameters.”

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