Toronto musician Doug Paisley dismissed by Canadian labels, embraced by Americans
Toronto alt-country rocker Doug Paisley is happy to announce he’s recorded a brand new album. The cover art for Constant Companion is done, and the entire package is ready to go. The problem is, despite American success, positive reviews in big-name magazines like Mojo and the New Yorker, and support from musicians like Leslie Feist, Paisley can’t find a Canadian label to distribute his album in Canada.
The problem isn’t Paisley’s music, but rather that he’s signed with a small company based in Brooklyn that does not distribute to Canada. Though Feist even approached both Arts and Crafts and Six Shooter to push Paisley’s wares, neither Toronto label was interested without international distribution rights. The perilous state of the recording industry has pushed labels to require more all-encompassing deals. Realistically, they say, it’s impossible to make a profit with only the Canadian distribution rights.
Paisley, for his part, doesn’t seem too upset. Though he admitted to the Globe and Mail, “You can’t help but take it personally,” he says he understands the reasoning behind the decision. He also thinks the rejection may not make much of a difference to his sales. Paisley points to the fact that he can hawk the album on iTunes and during his extensive upcoming cross-Canada tour. “There’s going to be a point where a label is not going to be able to offer me anything better than what I’m already doing myself.” It’s a sentiment that’s becoming increasingly common these days, and one that is likely worrisome for the very labels that chose to pass on Paisley’s now self-promoted work.