WHERE his EP from last year, beech, got aficionados of a certain stripe of nocturnal, confessional singer-songwriters talking about great potential and one to watch, it looks like Joey Donnelly, the artist in his early twenties who appears with a guitar, a hushed voice and a bag of beautiful tunesmithery as elkyn, is set to fully deliver with his debut album, holy spirit social club.
Joey has just shared the lead single from the album, which will be coming out in March (full pre-order details are available below); that track is called “everything looks darker now” and is a from-the-heart confessional of social anxiety couched in intimate guitar, falling somewhere betwixt the candid chill of first-album Bon Iver and the luxurious hush of early Iron & Wine.
The pain and tension revealed in the lyrics is clear and saddening; but the sound is a meditative safe space in which to reveal fears.
Joey says of this first single reveal: “[It’s] about a rainy gig I played in Manchester. I invited someone and didn’t expect them to show up and when they did I shied away from them for most of it.
“We had a big catch up over a cigarette outside but when I left I realised how much I missed them.”
Joey is also playing a trio of dates this month, as well announcing a co-headlining tour with ST Manville next March and April, coinciding with his album release.
As you can tell from “everything looks darker now”, Joey Donnelly is absolutely unafraid to spill his inner dialogue out in song, airing the thoughts most wouldn’t. As Billy Bragg has memorably noted, it’s in finding the collective sharing of such experience that catharsis is achieved; if you feel like this you are not alone.
And holy spirit social club is just that, a catharsis; he writes away the weight on his shoulders as a continuing process of “writing nicer songs and being nicer to myself”.
Those dates are as follows:
Wednesday, November 24th, Fulford Arms, York;
Saturday, November 27th, The Snugg Coffee House, Atherton, Bolton;
Sunday, November 28th, Oporto, Leeds and
Sunday, December 12th, Delicious Clam, Sheffield
elkyn then hits the road with ST Manville in the new year:
Friday, March 18th, 2022, Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds;
Saturday, March 19th, Fulford Arms, York;
Sunday, March 20th, The Castle, Manchester;
Thursday, March 24th, Scale, Liverpool;
Friday, March 25th, JT Soar, Nottingham;
Saturday, March 26th, The Flapper, Birmingham;
Sunday, March 27th, Duffy’s, Leicester;
Tuesday, March 29th, Strongroom Bar, Shoreditch, London;
Wednesday, March 30th, The Folklore Rooms, Brighton;
Friday, April 1st, Clifton Community Bookshop, Bristol, and
Saturday, April 2nd, Tiny Rebel, Cardiff.
For tickets and more information visit elkyn’s tour page, here.
Elkyn’s debut album, holy spirit social club, will be released by Curation Records on March 18th digitally, on CD and on trad back vinyl; Rough Trade will be vending an exclusive green vinyl pressing too. To order yours, click through here.
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