MAGNET Exclusive: Premiere Of Doug Paisley’s “Rewrite History”

“Rewrite History” isn’t your typical duet, as Doug Paisley explains. “It’s more explicit about telling a side of a story, as opposed to just telling a story,” says the much-praised Canadian singer/songwriter. “Felicity Williams’ vocal part is not just a harmony but a reminder that the other person in the story is there—even though one voice is doing all the talking.”

Disarmingly conversational and underhandedly poignant, “Rewrite History” is a bit of an anomaly on Say What You Like (Outside Music), which is out March 17. “I wrote the song on a friend’s 100-year-old guitar, and I do believe certain songs can only be found in certain instruments,” says Paisley. “It was written so quickly it seemed like it’d always been there.”

Say What You Like’s 11 tracks are Paisley’s first music since 2018’s Starter Home and were culled from more than 200 unrecorded songs spanning a decade. The vetting process was done with producer Afie Jurvanen (Bahamas).

“That collaborative approach is different from Starter Home and all my previous recordings,” says Paisley, who’s known for isolating during the creative process. “I’m less available on many levels when I’m focused on writing. I think you get used to having someone like that in your life. Then again, we’ve all gotten used to people’s attention drifting in and out according to what their phone is telling them. And I wouldn’t want to assume it’s always a bad thing for the people in my life to have me away for a day or a week sometimes.”

—Hobart Rowland

Doug Paisley’s Latest Desert Island Playlist:

The Neptunes “Take Me Girl”

Sam Larkin “Mirabeau Bridge”

Ann Peebles “Trouble, Heartaches & Sadness”

Bob Dylan “Nobody ‘Cept You”

The Pilgrim Travelers “Did You Stop To Pray This Morning?”

Al Tuck “Food For The Moon”