Evan P. Donohue
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Evan P. Donohue

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF
Band Rock Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Local Honey Covers Evan Donohue"

I went out on a limb this week to review something that I hadn't discovered myself - something I was completely unfamiliar with until a week ago.

"The album is called 'Rhythm & Amplitude. It's amazing," my friend told me on the patio at the Mercy Lounge in Nashville. The opening lyrics of the album explain, "I am under the spell of a melody." This statement appropriately sums up my feelings about the record.

The maestro of said melody is Evan P. Donohue. His voice is strangely reminiscent of Brandon Flowers but twice as bold and emotive. His record "Rhythm & Amplitude" features upbeat indie pop/surf rock, in the vein of Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin and early Of Montreal, which is utterly deceiving in that you'll be dancing and clapping along when you realize that the lyrics are about dying alone in a sea of tears. This 16-track semi-autobiographical storybook illustrates experiences inspired by Donohue's life in California, New York, and his most recent home, Nashville.

Donohue's simple and sophisticated melodies are a welcome addition to Nashville's repertoire. The lyrics are frank and the arrangements are solid. Since moving to Music City, he has collected a band of talented locals to back him. They released "Rhythm & Amplitude in April of this year and are currently anticipating a new cassette release at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, at The Darkroom in Nashville. In exchange for the $6 cover, you get to see four bands, including Evan P. Donohue, of course, and a copy of the new cassette. In addition to having mastered catchy song composition, Donohue apparently also excels at giving you the most in exchange for your meager monetary contributions. The content of the forthcoming cassette is unknown to me, but if it's anything like "Rhythm & Amplitude," it will be worth your while to check it out.
- The Oracle


I was excited to get my hands on an advance copy of the new Evan P. Donohue record entitled Rhythm & Amplitude. Though I had never listened to him before, I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by this album’s maturity, excellent use of layers, and incredibly large kit of sounds. Very rarely does one find an artist who uses such a diverse array of noises to create something as wonderful and unique as Donohue has pulled off so adroitly. From a classic rocker like O Justice, to heartfelt love-lost ballads like California Sunshine, this album delivers an old-school feel while simultaneously remaining innovative and fresh. The arrangements are incredibly complex and each is a jewel of heartbreak and an example of what musicians who are both pupils and avid listeners of music can accomplish when put to the test.
Donohue’s band is incredible; each knowing how to perform adeptly in various styles and genres. If I had one complaint about the band it would be that these excellent musicians are not included in the moniker Evan P. Donohue, but I suppose that is a matter of personal preference. And, if indeed Mr. Donohue is the arranger of these tasty tunes, he deserves a lot of credit. Though he lists his influences as The Rolling Stones, Of Montreal, T. Rex, and Elvis Costello, I would say this group is more like Belle and Sebastian meets Toy Matinee. In Donohue’s indie march entitled 35mm (I was wrong), Donohue asserts, “I’m a life affirming author of a poem / of beauty, freedom, and love / I write about divine deliverance / I don’t believe in chance or coincidence.” Normally I would dismiss this statement as pure bravado, but in this case I’m going to have to admit that the artist has a point. Simply, he is really good, and deserves a listen. I’m personally glad that I gave him a chance, and I’m putting him on the list of bands that I will see next time they are playing around town. - The Rabbit Press

"Evan P. Donohue at The End... The Donohue Show"

The most immediate comparison one is likely to make in describing fresh-faced local power-popper Evan P. Donohue is to Elvis Costello. And the reason isn’t just the glasses. Like the early material of the bespectacled king of brainy geek-rock, Donohue’s songs are literate hyper-pop anthems for the brokenhearted. The biggest difference is that where Costello espoused a palpable anger and bravado in his songwriting, Donohue has a carefree air of romanticism to his lovelorn pining. While, in some instances, the music gets a little cutesy—bordering on twee—it’s by and large much better than that, and far more rockin’ to boot. Fans of nervy awk-rock from favorites of the Stiff Records catalog to pre-Y2K Weezer should take notice.
Fri., Sept. 25, 9 p.m., 2009 - The Nashville Scene

"We think Evan P. Donohue is pretty amazing. You should too."

While you and everybody you’ve ever met were watching Yeasayer in a cramped Cannery Ballroom on the penultimate day of Next Big Nashville, we were catching something far more exciting and elusive—a band from Belmont that didn’t register an 8.6 on the Dixie Downturn whatevs scale. Evan P. Donohue was playing direct support for Elf Power and all we could do was wonder, “was he this good when we saw him last, or is this new? Because this is AMAZING.”
If you would have told us that Diarrhea Planet’s ex-guitarist was playing some of the catchiest, lush baroque pop in Middle Tennessee (dare we say, the entire Southeast), we… probably wouldn’t have done anything. But we would have said something very mean-spirited about you and your face once you were out of earshot. Don’t judge us. Regardless, Evan’s debut record, Rhythm & Amplitude basically takes all of the bits of Elephant 6 bands in early ’00s and melts it all together. You wind up with some dark lyrics over sunny arrangements (ala Beulah), some sunshine pop tinged with slight psychedelia (of Montreal), some narrative folk pop songs that don’t make a whole lot of sense (Neutral Milk Hotel) and so on. Just take our word for it, this music rules.
You can buy a digital version and/or a CD off Bandcamp. For a day, you could have bout it for $4.80, but now you’ve got to spend the whole 8 bucks (we know, your life is so hard):

We highly recommend you see him at Exit/In on Wednesday when he opens for The Thermals. If you send him a really good riddle, you might even get in for free. - Dixie Downturn


Look Bleak E.P. (2008)
Rabbit Sampler E.P. (2009)
Rhythm & Amplitude (2010)

Since January 2010, 8,633 plays on Bandcamp (myspace directs listeners to Bandcamp), and 3,077 plays on last.fm.

Airplay from local/college radio stations (Sterilize The Kids from Rabbit Sampler E.P., and Something Good from Rhythm & Amplitude).



Playing with words and ideas, Evan P. Donohue creates part-fiction characters loosely tied together by the stories he has collected living in California, New York, and now finding a home at the heart of the underground music scene in Nashville, Tenn. Teaming up with drummer and arranger Mike Kavouras, as well as some very talented accompanying musicians, the pair have developed a buzz in Music City as a unique and entertaining live act. Donohue answered his growing demand in the studio with a debut full-length album entitled "Rhythm & Amplitude". The album's opening lines introduce you to the clever lyrical games Donohue plays alongside the music:

I am under this spell of a melody/ It's an epidemic in the key of D/ Its simple, its sophisticated/ Play it for me once, I'll have heard it thousands of times

It seems unfair to confine the music of such an eccentric and talented person like Evan P. Donohue to any sort of written definitions, especially because the genre-crossing songs he plays will only work to prove you otherwise. Certainly, there are elements of Rock, Pop, and Americana to the band's sound, and nods to Elvis Costello, The Strokes, The Rolling Stones, and Of Montreal are hard to miss, but the most pervasive quality is just of an indefinable likeableness. It's retro; it's contemporary. It's heavy, but lighthearted. It's fiction, but it's reality. "Rhythm & Amplitude" is a collection of honest lies, where the elegance of the fable proves the importance of the truth.

Masterfully crafting sardonic portraits of decidedly earnest characters, Evan P. Donohue poetically chooses his words to express the struggles and affections his often tragic characters experience by the choices they've faced in life. The surf-rock ballad "California Sunshine" speaks of a middle-aged man who rebels against the monotony of his life, eventually finding peace and happiness "sleeping under Starlight", a prostitute employed at the Mexican brothel where the track gets its title.

Then there are the heavier rockers, like "O Justice!", or the gem "Twickenham Garden", which draws influence from the 16th century John Donne poem of the same name. It is the 21st century tale of an unsatisfied disc jockey who only finds fulfillment in the backbeats of the music he once loved. There is something to appreciate in the sincerity of Donohue's lyrics when combined with the ultra-catchy and accomplished melodies and musical arrangements, as the songs overflow with embracing words and images that are often excluded from polite conversation.