Donny Love is developing close to a cult following here on the Gold Coast and that’s despite the fact that they’re in the existential maelstrom of their mid 20s and in their own words “making mistakes, learning, travelling, falling in and out of love and payin’ rent.” Or maybe that’s BECAUSE they’re in that existential maelstrom.
Whatever the reason, the band have been in a period of steady growth since we last spoke to them and that’s evident in their latest body of work, debut album ‘Sensation’. Andrew Hodges AKA ‘Don Hog’ says the band has been busy “overcoming the various mental, financial and logistical hurdles of independently releasing this bloody album.”
The six-piece act have plenty of projects outside of making music (geology PhD, print-maker, cocktail shaker, landscape architect, barista, aspiring lawyer and pool-hall aficionado being some of the titles they lay claim to), which may explain the lengthy period between recording the album and releasing it.
“It’s interesting to think that the debut album we would record today would be quite different, but the looming departure of several members of the band was a catalyst for us to record the album and capture that point in time,” Andrew says.
“Combine that loss with love and the various trials and tribulations of adulthood and you’ve got the thematic heart of the album.”
It’s impossible to pigeon hole Donny Love’s sound (they’re calling it Motel Bop) and they’re keen to remain outside of any specific genre labels.
“We try to exist outside of current trends and scenes,” Andrew explained, “pulling people in to our world, as opposed to tagging in.”
“As a side note to this I think that due to the size of the Gold Coast, our best asset is that bands from different scenes have to interact and we’ve learned and gained much inspiration from our friends and peers here.”
We’ll review the album in full in our next magazine, but it’s a classy and soulful affair, heavy on the psych and dripping with sunlight. The title track closes the album – all 7.5 minutes of it. But trust me, listening to this song is not a chore and it brings up the rear perfectly. Andrew says it was actually the first song they recorded.
“‘Sensation’ is the magnum opus and defines the thematic and sonic palette which informed the album,” he said. “Mainly though, there was just no friggin’ way to follow that song up, it had to be the closer! It’s the end of the road of the album and we encourage people to listen to the album in full to enjoy the song in context. It would be hilarious to get the song played on the radio, preferably during commuter peak hour stress.”
There’s something quirky and unique about Donny Love’s repertoire. And the same can be said of the fans who come in droves to their shows.
“Due to the character and nature of our music, our own quirks, and how much we demand from our audience when we perform, I’ve found we generally attract characters and weirdos,” Andrew said. “All the good and interesting ones. Cute spooks. We love our fans endlessly and through peers, friends, the internet and touring we’re reaching more and more great people.”
Donny Love will deliver for their ‘cute spooks’ when they launch their new album at elsewhere in June. It’s a much-anticipated gig given the band’s recent headline shows and the fact that they spent time last year touring with the Allah Lahs and scoring a slot at Gizzfest.
“2017 was a year of expansion for us, and we were honoured to have been given meaningful opportunities and humbling experiences,” Andrew said. “There’s no secret in regards to our formula, just hard work and patience.”
“We’re passionate about the Gold Coast and never hide away from our roots here and we also try to not re-trace our steps too closely with regards to shows and typical venues.”
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Donny Love’s debut album ‘Sensation’ is out 4 May digitally and in 12” vinyl format, (you can pre-order now via Bandcamp) and their latest single ‘Dysfunctional Lovers’ is out now as a taste. They’ll hit elsewhere on Friday 8 June before they take off on a tour of Japan with The Delicates in tow for one big family adventure.
IMAGE (c) Katia Brticevich