'Reminisce' cover.
‘Reminisce’ cover.

Donegan has released the first single, Reminisce, from their debut concept album, “First XI”, a collection of songs which has taken 20 years to write, record and curate. Donegan is an eponymous family band: songwriter Thomas sings and plays piano, organ, guitars and synths, with Emmet on guitar, mandolin and vocals. The new album and its singles prosper from collaboration with renowned producer Chris Coulter, who recently took Arcane Roots to no. 1 in the UK Indie charts.

A broad array of musical influences and genres are reflected, including near-classical pieces (with full orchestra and four-part choir) through folk-rock, synth-dominated soft rock to more guitar-heavy indie rock tracks. With melodies and harmonies dominating over bass, the music reflects the juxtaposition between the songwriter’s classical training and passion for melodic rock music. Instrumental solos include as many as three lead guitars alongside a brass section and even an oboe solo, in each case together with a standard rock set.

The album’s tracks were composed over more than 20 years but are re-ordered (non-chronologically), to comprise a study of love, from its opening sparks to fading embers. The first single, Reminisce, is a catchy, radio-friendly soft rock track, dominated by synths and piano, whose smooth yet plangent tone is simultaneously uplifting, reflective and insistent. It explores the excitement of a first liaison and a passionate rebuttal of those who doubt its veracity or significance. Reminisce is the perfect introduction to Donegan, with their debut album, “First XI” to be released in March 2018.