Doug Hoyer – Runaway

by | Apr 27, 2019 | Song of the Day

From where I stood I watched them recede in the frame of the roadway, between the Moorish house and the Lombardy poplar. Then the little sedan boldly swung past the front truck and, free at last, spurted up the shining road, which one could make out narrowing to a thread of gold in the soft mist where hill after hill made beauty of distance, and where there was simply no saying what miracle might happen. — from Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov

Timofey Pnin was a runaway, his flights from Reds, Nazis, his wife, and various sonic disturbances directing him from St. Petersburg to a New England roadway via Kiev, Constantinople, Prague, Paris, and a little brick house beside a big black cliff. He faded into the mist bearing his dog, his unpublished book, and a large bowl of brilliant aquamarine glass.

Like Pnin, Doug Hoyer has accumulated considerable experience in the endeavor of movement: since 2015 he has lived in Edmonton, Athens (Georgia), Chicago, and now Calgary, the final move made while conveying two crying cats in a pet carrier. We, the listeners, are rewarded for Doug’s migrations with ‘Runaway,’ described by the author as ‘a song about leaving. About having to make the move. Stepping forward in life.’

‘Runaway’ was recorded in a Chicago apartment – the final northward journey not yet undertaken – on a $30 thrift store piano. ‘The resonator lay fairly low, so the height of the upright piano was only 3 feet, and it had such a warm, rounded sound,’ Doug tells us on his website. The track also features a beautifully expressive tenor sax by Fallon McDermott, reminiscent of the urban airiness captured by Clarence Clemons in ‘New York City Serenade.’

‘Runaway’ is from Doug Hoyer’s new ten-track album, Character Witness, soon to be released on Mangled Tapes. The album is described as ‘a collage of sketches, crafted tales of various lonely figures fleshed out. From runaways and the cops that chase them, camp counselors who fall in love, futuristic dystopias, sellout businessmen and bodybuilders.’

Doug Hoyer made a previous appearance in these virtual pages way back in 2014, when we featured ‘Haven’t Thought of You In So Long (and I’d like to keep it that way)’ from his Blood Döner EP. The song is a real rocker, and worth another spin.

You can support deserving musicians like Doug Hoyer by visiting his Bandcamp page, listening to his songs, and downloading your favorite tracks. And be sure to drop by his website, and follow Doug Hoyer on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Spotify.

Since 2013, Reverb Raccoon has featured the best music from unknown and independent musicians. His interests include eating leftovers from the neighbor’s garbage can and watching The Royal Tenenbaums.  Email:

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