On his brand new single “What Can I Do,” Toronto/LA-based musician and artist Louie Short was able to receive a distilled message from his ancestry and introduce it to a brand new and much wider audience.
An undiscovered pop gem, the song was originally written back in the late 70s by his own father Michael Short and songwriter BJ Cook when they were both living in Toronto. At the time, Cook had been married to mega producer David Foster and the hope was to present him with this would-be “hit” that would take over the globe. But as so many stories go in this cutthroat business, the song was never picked up and laid collecting dust until it was unearthed by an engineer who was able to digitize it and send it back to Louie’s father.
When he played it for him, Louie could tell that his father’s song was too good to go unheard. With it’s universal feeling of not being able to keep up with a lover who may be outpacing you, the song has a classic pop foundation that is only heightened by Short’s delicate reading of the source material. “What in the world can I do? You won’t change a thing for me,” goes the chorus, “I was counting on you to take this chance on me.”
The musical accompaniment to the tune envisions it through the lens of folk-leaning groups on Drag City or current artists like Alex G with warm electric guitars, piano and loose drumming underneath Short’s laid back delivery.
In a press release, Short explained how profound a meaning this song had on him. “People are drawn to beginnings and endings, whether it be falling in love and breaking up, or emerging artists and artists passing away,” he said. “Things in the middle of their life tend to be neglected. I think that this forgotten middle space is exciting and uncharted. It holds a certain poignancy because it doesn’t have the manipulative magnetism of creation and destruction, birth and death, to grab your attention. It just has itself existing.”
“What Can I Do” will be released on Short’s upcoming full-length album OMW 4ev, out this Fall on 444%. Ears to Feed has an exclusive stream of the song below.