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Daniel Lanois, "Papineau" (Red Floor)

11 February 2014

Valentine’s Day is the recognized holiday for lovers everywhere. It can also mark the peak of angst and stress for anxious fathers of smitten daughters. Daniel Lanois captures his version of such a story in “Papineau,” a new song recorded with singer Laura Cole.

Though aptly timed for release with the holiday, the sweetly-sung tune tells a story for all seasons. In the song, daddy’s little girl falls for a bad-news beau. Against her father’s strong reservations, the daughter states the resolve of her heart. An upbeat melody belies the conflict between father and child. “Listen to your daddy,” sings Lanois in the chorus. “No, no, the Papineau’s no good.”

The song’s piano and guitar arrangement was quickly recorded, balancing Lanois’ affinity for Jamaican reggae and Cajun bounce. “‘Papineau’ is a song I’ve had in my head for fifteen years,” says Lanois. “[It’s] a song designed to be sung as a duet.”

“I invited Laura Cole to sing the role of the daughter,” says Lanois. “Laura helped me with a few lyric lines, and we recorded the song in three hours – a nice spontaneous afternoon, and voila! We have ‘Papineau.’”

Lanois is making the song available on Friday, February 14, 2014 via his Red Floor Records website and iTunes.

“This release is partly an experiment to see about releasing songs as quickly as I finish them,” says Lanois, with the idea of offering his art at the initial moment of excitement. “If this ‘Papineau’ release works out, I’d love to keep releasing works as they come out of the oven,” he says.

Alex Krispin filmed the session, resulting in the film clip that can be seen below.