Cait Brennan is debuting her new single “Dear Arthur” off of her upcoming album Debutante, out January 22.
“There’s only so much anybody needs to hear about my magical little feelings, so I try and whip up good stories in my songs,” said Brennan of the single. “But what often happens instead is, I think I’m writing fiction, and then a little while later I have the horrible realization that it is, in fact, still about me. I thought ‘Dear Arthur’ was something about a wayward ship captain or something – his family left behind on some forgotten shore while he was out lost in a nor-easter on some zany sailor hijinks. I’ve never even set foot on a boat, so I have no idea why I was suddenly trying to become some low-rent fright-wig Gordon Lightfoot, jet-skiing out on lake Gitche Gumee. But I went with it.”
Looking closer, the singer-songwriter stumbled upon the realization that she was actually writing an ode to her late father.
“But then the lyric turned,” she continued. “And when I played it again, I was just thunderstruck with the realization that it was about my father, who passed away a few years back. He was a moderately successful touring musician back in the 70s and 80s, before he got sidetracked by substance abuse and a lot of really bad luck. I’d never written about him or to him before – I barely ever played him any of my music at all. He was just starting to get himself together when cancer took him down, and he never saw me play a single show – though the very first time I ever sang with a band, when I was just a kid, it was with his band (don’t get too weepy and sentimental – they made me sing ‘Lawyers In Love’ by Jackson Browne, which has to be the worst song ever written).
I think ‘Dear Arthur’ kind of helped me come to terms with losing him. He was a spiritual guy, tapped into some kind of mysticism I can’t really access, and he was at peace when he left. When I sing ‘all the pain you have forgotten will never find you on the ocean,’ it’s both a relief and a complaint: I’m glad he’s not in pain anymore, and yet in the song I’m still trying so hard to reach him. He wasn’t in my life as long or as much as I wanted, our paths took us separate ways. Maybe for these three minutes we share a little space and time. I would have never set out to write something like this, but sometimes when you lose your way it ends up taking you right where you need to go.”
Listen to the exclusive premiere of “Dear Arthur” above.