Photo: © Jason Cipparrone 2019
It’s not every day you get to talk to someone like Shaina Silver-Baird of Ghost Caravan about everything from climate change to being in a literal Parent Trap situation, but that’s what came to be when we exchanged words in email formation about her band’s latest single, retro pop music, and what’s to come from Ghost Caravan. Spoiler alert, they have some pretty awesome things coming your way soon!
Kendra: Your latest single, “I Wish I Knew (The Words To Make You Happy),” made me think of superpowers because let’s face it…knowing what someone is thinking is damn near impossible. With that, would you pick mind reading or go another route if given the chance to have a special power?
Shaina Silver-Baird: I would not pick mind reading. I think it would be agony to know everything everyone was thinking all the time. It would drive me crazy and would probably make it really difficult to have close relationships because people would feel like I was spying on their inner thoughts all the time. If I could have a special power…I would be able to reverse environmental damage and climate change. It’s honestly a pretty scary reality. Oye, that just got dark quickly.
Kendra: You’d be a Captain Planet of sorts! Back in reality though, was this song penned from a place of anguish or love?
Shaina Silver-Baird: I would say both. The anguish of the song comes from the fact that I love the person I’m singing about. Not feeling like you can talk to or bridge the gap to someone you love it the worst feeling of dread and emptiness. You can sleep in the same bed, live in the same house, share a life with your lover and still feel utterly alone. The song is about sleepless nights and the breathless moment before it all comes crashing down when you know the relationship is over, but you still foolishly hope to save it.
Kendra: Rewinding just a bit. Before this, you dropped what you called a love letter to retro pop. Did you start out thinking about doing a song like that or did that sentiment come about after “Love Me If You Dare” was starting to take shape?
Shaina Silver-Baird: It definitely came from the song itself. I wasn’t quite sure what we were writing until it was already written. I co-wrote “Love Me If You Dare” with Martha Johnson and Mark Gane of Martha and the Muffins who had an international hit in the ’80s with a song called Echo Beach. Working with them, it was bound to have a glorious, retro vibe – that’s just their style. And I love borrowing from previous eras so it just kind of naturally fell into place.
Kendra: The title made me think of those sort of tagline/bios people put on their dating profiles to catch someone’s eye. Keeping with the retro theme of things, do you feel like “retro” way of dating (meeting in real life) is dead and gone, replaced by the numerous apps out there or could there still be a chance of connecting with someone IRL?
Shaina Silver-Baird: I feel like a unicorn in our society, because I’m a millennial who has never been on a dating app or website. Ever. So yes, I definitely believe in meeting people in real life. I met my boyfriend/partner at a concert for kids actually when I was singing back up with a kids folk band. After the concert, his four-year-old daughter came over to chat to me and pulled a solid Parent Trap on us. I would say she orchestrated the whole thing, but she was a little too young to be fully aware of what she was doing…or maybe not!!
I find online dating profiles so fascinating. Often what people think makes them attractive does the exact opposite and it’s the quirks they want to hide that make people fall in love with them. I’m a big believer in literal chemistry, so I can’t really tell if I’m attracted to someone until I’m standing opposite them. Pictures on a profile don’t really cut it. But I’m also very lucky as an artist to constantly be meeting new, interesting and creative people. Not everyone has that luxury.
Kendra: With every song, you deliver beautiful arrangements matched by beautiful vocals. Where do you each draw inspirations from for this overall sound?
Shaina Silver-Baird: We’re very lucky to work with a range of amazing songwriters and producers. Each song is a combination of the influences from the artists who contributed. But we’re definitely inspired by artists like London Grammar, Lorde, Oh Wonder, Aurora, and of course the classics like Prince and Fleetwood Mac.
Kendra: What are your plans as we continue to make our way through 2019?
Shaina Silver-Baird: We’re excited that our previous single “Love Me If You Dare” will be featured on The Confidence Emperors compilation album called The International Sound System Party with some of Toronto’s hottest artists. We’ll be playing the vinyl release party with Grand Analog and John Orpheus on Saturday, June 8 at the Drake Underground. We also have two more singles waiting in the wings to be released. Stay tuned!