elkyn – christmas lights

Posted: 13 December 2020 in Singles and EPs
Tags: , , , , , ,

Bad Paintings – 16th December 2020

Christopher Nosnibor

It’s perhaps fitting that elkyn should wrap up the year with a Christmas single. Bleak as the year has been for so many, it’s been an interesting and evolutionary year for the shy and retiring Leeds-based artist, 22-year-old songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joseph Donnelly.

2019 saw Donelley tour the UK with 60’s LA legends LOVE featuring Johnny Echols, as well as playing shows with Katie Malco, Rozi Plain, S.T. Manville, Molly Linen and Mark Peters. 2020 put a halt on touring, and pushed him back into quiet retreat, and it seems that creatively, it’s proven remarkably beneficial.

Transitioning from elk to elkyn following the release of his debut ‘beech’ EP, and after a spell of silence, he returned with a slew of new material that’s as breathtakingly delicate and understated as you could conceive, beginning with a beech remixes ep and the single ‘if only it was alright now’.

How does covering a Coldplay track sit in the scheme of things? After all, they do epitomise the mainstream preference for the blandest, most diluted, tepid, fare going, the musical equivalent of instant decaff.

With chiming bells and dulcimers and soft washes of synth, this rendition certainly sounds and feels like a Christmas single, but with softly picked acoustic guitar and Donelley’s quite distinctive vocals that are imbued with a sunny 60s pop vibe, it doesn’t feet like Coldplay either. With a bold drum rolling in like thunder and a cinematic production, it’s well executed and makes for a fitting bookend to an outstanding year for elkyn.

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