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SW Sounds: Deni Gauthier

The St. Thomas singer/songwriter reveals the inspiration behind his latest single, 'Next Line.'

New album 'He Said She Said' inspired by the 'stranger parts of love'

St. Thomas-based artist Deni Gauthier prepares to release his new album, He Said She Said. (Supplied by Deni Gauthier)

Real love is hard work. And sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it just doesn't work out. It's hard truths like these that lead to Deni Gauthier's upcoming album.

For the St. Thomas-based singer/songwriter, examining the "stranger parts of love" - the breakups as well as the make-ups - lead to a rich vein of songwriting inspiration.

The album is already available in Europe, but will see a North American release on Valentine's Day. It's lead single, 'Next Line,' is streaming now.

Tell us about the new record.

It's called He Said She Said. It's kind of a concept album about couples in various stages of a relationship - from courting, to breaking up, to dying. There are a couple of heavy topics in there and I try to touch them all. I'm fascinated with the way love evolves over time and how you can learn to hate somebody but you love them so much. And once they're gone, you never forget what they did for you. That kind of love is what I'm intrigued by.

How did you find yourself writing about this?

It started on Passenger, actually. I started writing like that on my last album. This one was set out to be a collection of very pretty songs, a lot of melodic finger-picking style guitar playing with long reverbs and stuff. But my producer Andre Wahl said 'now Danny, you've done that too many times.' So we threw some drums on there and went a bit 'Elliott Smith' on this one. It's kind of an indie rock album, as opposed to a folk record. It wasn't initially the direction I was going to head in, but I know there's a bit of rock and roll inside of me and I like that. Being a solo singer-songwriter, I tend to record the things that I can produce in a live venue. But I'm playing with the band a lot more nowadays, and this is a good way to get into it. 

Tell us a bit about the lead single.

'Next Line' is a dark topic turned positive. I got into my late thirties and it seemed to me that all my friends are getting divorces. Every now and then, a couple would part and it would be an amicable and almost beautiful thing. They still get together for Christmas and they love each other, but they've sent the other person onto greener pastures because something wasn't working right in the relationship. I'm happily married, but I see this all the time. I guess I'm just fascinated with the strange part of love, and I believe that's another type of love. It carries on into somebody's next life.

This interview was edited and condensed.

Have a listen to 'Next Line' as part of Deni Gauthier's SW Sounds profile:

St. Thomas singer/songwriter Deni Gauthier tells us how the darker side of love inspired his upcoming album, He Said She Said. 6:22

If you know of an artist or band with new music that we should be featuring on SW Sounds, email afternoondrive@cbc.ca or reach out on Twitter, @cbcafternoondr.

More SW Sounds:

About the Author

Chris dela Torre

Host of Afternoon Drive

Chris dela Torre is the host of Afternoon Drive on CBC Radio One in Southwestern Ontario. He's worked as a host, reporter and producer in several cities across Canada, and has hosted several CBC network programs, such as q, DNTO and The Story From Here.

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