Donegan has resurrected an idea that most artists have either shunned because it’s too focused of a concept or simply to difficult to achieve successfully and that is the concept album. Comprised of the family Donegan, the album known as “1st XI”, released yesterday, chronicles the lifespan of love from beginning to inevitable end. Each track provides a musically solid chapter that embeds its own unique thematic style and conceived composition via a truly thought-out and original project. Imagine songwriters given a chance to write a script. And, while each song is solid on it’s own footing, Donegan show that, as a concept, songs are like family: they are stronger when they are together.
Check out “1st XI” via the links below.
On March 27th, 2018, Donegan released their debut concept album, “1st XI”. Donegan is an eponymous family band: songwriter Thomas is also the main vocalist and also plays piano, organ, guitars, and synths, with Emmet on guitar, mandolin and vocals and Martin on percussion. 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.
Two of its single releases have been well-received in the independent music scene. Reminisce [RateNewMusic’s single of the week], dealt in the joyful sparks of first love, whilst Candles [attracting notable radio play] addressed darker themes such as anguish, conflict, and regret, built alongside yearning melodies and captivating string arrangements. The new album’s songs are broadly linked together as a study on love, ordered from first attraction to its conclusion.
Among the most impressive new tracks is I Wonder, a folk-rock piece featuring Emmet’s acoustic guitars, mandolin, harmonica and backing vocals. Indie-rock anthem The End features Thomas and Coulter rocking out on no less than three lead guitars (plus bass and two rhythm guitars), vocal duets and a strong brass section.
The album aims to comprise a study of love from its opening sparks to dying embers. It also includes a thematic interlude, acting as a metaphor for argument, Television, and Democracy evidencing a more political angle to Donegan’s repertoire. To round off the genre-fest, the album’s film-score-esque opener, Requiem features a full orchestra, four-piece choir, and rock drum set, whilst Human Behaviour may be the catchiest track, a quirky and punchy Britpop number.
With a wealth of musical variety and an engaging narrative journey, Donegan’s full-length debut is replete with varied and adventurous instrumentation. The band intends 1st XI to be a true “album” in the traditional sense of that word – with 11 strong tracks that, taken as a whole, tell a coherent story, bring the listener on a journey and any of whose songs may resonate with people at different stages in their life. 1st XI will be released online and available for sales of the physical CD at retailers from 27 March 2018.
SOURCE: Official Release
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/music/album/DONEGAN_1st_XI?id=Bjoy5ofeo5fiku4kfnqdowa3i3u
Amazon streaming: https://www.amazon.com/1st-XI-Donegan/dp/B079YXHMKV/ref=tmm_msc_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1522174449&sr=8-1
Amazon physical audio CD: https://www.amazon.com/1st-XI-Donegan/dp/B07BC6JFT7/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1522174449&sr=8-1&keywords=donegan+1st+xi