Last night at New York's Living Room, Doug Paisley oscillated between the folksy modesty of someone raised right and the bold knowledge of his own unstoppable, subtle songwriting. One moment, he refrained from describing a vivid dream he had 'cause "nobody likes hearing about other people's dreams"; the next, he mentions he got his left-handed guitar from fellow Canadian and living legend Garth Hudson of The Band (oh, yeah, we may have heard of him). He willingly admitted that his tuner never thinks he's good enough, but then whipped those six strings and his tenor around a melody that sticks. He shaved the 'stache (at left), otherwise, he'd have another thing to brag about.

[More after the jump...]

When I heard Paisley's first, self-titled album in 2008, I was touched by its ambition and craft, never marred by overproduction, over-accompaniment, over-preciousness. He idiosyncratically chews his syllables and flips his voice at the end of a phrase, but never too often, on top of folk- and country-inspired, minimalist narratives that eschew the tomes that usually wreak havoc tracks about love and the places where you're from.

The trend's continued on "Constant Companion," released today (Oct. 12), with a few more boast-worthy moments. Just as it seems Feist is slowly coming back to the surface with new projects, there's Paisley's "Don't Make Me Wait" and pining "What I Saw," which both features her backing vocals. Hudson plays keyboards. Like his debut, it's only nine songs long, with few tracking over four minutes. It's just enough, and not too much.

Below, we have the exclusive stream of "No One but You," which has itself a whiff of Van Zandt and a whole lot of those keys we were talking about. "Constant Companion" is out courtesy of No Quarter.

 

Doug Paisley, "No One But You"