Donalyn play sweeping, melodic, dramatic rock music that brings you to your knees. Like the sun rising after a frozen night, they reveal beauty slowly, drawing you inexorably into the path of their arc. Warm rays dash across your eyelids like fleeting thoughts, and you wake up already weeping at the joy of it all. Life is a bittersweet dance to be savoured, and with their new EP “Parallels”, this band will show you how to suck the marrow out of every last second of your life.
Starting with the stately strums of an acoustic guitar, the opening track “Move On” slowly builds from a half-mumbled meditation into a liquid, flowing rock hymn. Singer Alistair Blaik Bundale’s voice is a mightily emotive instrument, capable of soft croons and ragged howls. Above the bouncing percussion and the lush, melodic bass lines, he speaks of “tearing the sky down, piece by piece.” It’s the kind of beautiful yet oddly violent imagery that this band embodies. The song is victorious and resigned, like the inhale and the exhale of the same conflicted set of lungs. This middle ground between elation and sadness is often the place where we live our lives. Donalyn make the sound of this conflict. We all have to move on, at some point, but not without paying heartfelt tribute to that which we leave behind.
From this misty emotional netherworld emerges the anthem of their sensitive hearts, a soaring and propulsive rocker called “This Life”. Above a mounting drone, the voice rages in successively higher registers about the mundane injustices of modern existences. “There ain’t no peace of mind for us to find”, he sings, giving voice to a vague, universal dread that inhabits every moment on this planet. But in the midst of this, there is a romantic appeal, a plea for a deep connection to the soul of another. The dexterous bass of Jen Benton and the gentle thunder of Brian Williams’ drums play with increasing intensity beneath Bundale’s howling declarations of fealty.
“Hardly Alive” opens our souls to the darker side of all this passion, like deep diving into the abyss of the psyche, where no light can reach. Slowly it rises, fighting its own weight, until it breaks the surface with a lyrical guitar solo, the band pounding away with all the might of a giant. Watery arpeggios drip from the skin, and then it’s gone, like a spirit sublimated into the air.
Donalyn are a rare band, able to simultaneously convey the sweetness and sadness of life, without being restricted by either. Their music is elemental, reflecting any emotion you project towards it, like a starlit lake. It is neither the earth nor the sky. It is everything, all at once, ripping through your fragile heart and emerging from your eyes as the tears you’ve held back for far too long. Surrender and live in the moment, and you will find their songs waiting for you.
- Alistair Blaik Bundale – Vocals/Guitar
- Brian Williams – Drums/Percussion
- Jen Benton – Bass