Check out the new single from Bemidji-based songwriter Doyle Turner. Though it is sonically uplifting, ‘Best if I Forget’ is song of loss, of endings, which Turner captures perfectly in his carefully-chosen, sensitive words: “Send me bad news in writing // Lick and seal a white envelope // I’ll hold you between my fingers // Memorise these words of smoke…You’re a letter not delivered // You’re an air and fire duet // A melody that’s set to silence // Burning notes I can’t forget // You burned me down on the day I met you // You burn me down again as you leave.” As heartfelt as the lyrics, Turner’s pure vocal performance is melodic and engaging. Beginning with a light, bright strum, the song then drives forward with warm bass, Steve Peffer’s layered keys and tuneful lead guitar. Harmonies from Sarah Morris and Ted Hajnasiewicz, who also provides bass and electric guitar, add additional layers to an engaging song.
Turner shared his thoughts about the song with AUK: “‘Best If I Forget’ is a song in which the imagery drove the lyrics. I didn’t quite know where I was headed as I wrote. I tried to play with as much fire imagery as I could. Once I hit the line, ‘…thought the touch of a hand on my cheek // could sustain me for the rest of my life,” I knew I had discovered that place of heartbreak at the ending of a relationship. I wrote this in April of 2021 and once the initial riff showed up, the rest of the melody came pretty quickly. I let the song sit for seven months. As I began to prepare for the album, my producer, Ted Hajnasiewicz, went on a creative tear with the song bringing in all of the instrumentation and arrangement, and I think the entire creative team did their best to do what this song called for, to serve the song.”
In the accompanying video for ‘Best if I Forget’, filmed and edited by Eli Gardiner, we see Turner performing, interspersed with images symbolic of loss. There are candles lit and old photographs, grouped together like a shrine, and the burning away of written lines: the repetition of ‘Will you remember me?’ Featuring Hajnasiewicz and Molly Turner, the video serves to reinforce the song’s themes effectively.
The single is the first to be taken from the album ‘Sweet, Difficult Sounds’, Turner’s third album, which is out now. The record features more reflective, introspective songs of love, loss and life, all set to easy melodies. Enjoy the video and then seek out the new album.