In “Learn to Lose,” Doug Paisley shares a piece of hard-won knowledge: “Take my advice and study the blues / Don’t wait too long to learn to lose.” Against a lush, melancholy melody, the Canadian country singer-songwriter describes the complex and unpredictable relationship between memory, novelty and nostalgia, the things we lose and the things we carry with us. At first blush, some of the song’s most memorable lyrical images – childhood novelty toys like “arrows through the head” and Mexican jumping beans – may seem trivial, but Paisley says that to him, they’re essential.
“There are people who take serious things lightly and those who take light things seriously,” Paisley explains. “Cecil Null said ‘I’ve forgotten more than you’ll ever know,’ and I’ve always remembered the display case of jumping beans on the candy store counter.”
The new song features backing vocals by Feist, who also appeared on Paisley’s most recent album, Constant Companion. On April 17th, No Quarter will release Paisley’s Golden Embers EP, a collection of tunes recorded during his December 2011 tour. A new full-length will follow in the fall.