Whitehorse | Toronto | Montreal
Declan O'Donovan, Yukon-based singer/songwriter released his second album, Broken Sky on June 2nd. We followed up with O'Donovan about the new album, his incredible music video for single "Down to the Bottom", the new dance-move that will be sweeping the nation and much more. O'Donovan charmed us with his humour, unique voice and a seriously well done album - read on to learn more and join us in obsessing over Broken Sky.
*O'Donovan has Canadian tour dates coming up in July, so make sure you take the opportunity to check him out!
G: How would you describe your sound to someone who’s never heard you?
D: What it would sound like if Tom Waits and Randy Newman had a baby... a baby they were disappointed in and never truly loved.
G: Did you get your start in music young?
D: I was four years old when I started playing piano. I grew up in a family of eleven, and the piano was the loudest thing in the house that I could use to get noticed. A kid's gotta eat...
G: How long was your new album, Broken Sky in the works? How did its creation feel different to you from your 2012 self-titled album?
D: I wrote these particular songs over the course of a year starting in late 2014, and had the record finished by spring 2016. Just had to sit on the record for about a year, sort of like incubating... or marinating...
The creation was certainly more focused. The last record felt a bit more reactionary - both in terms of the songwriting and the production.
G: Was there a specific song that took particularly long to “get right”?
D: Keep Me In Mind took a few rewrites in the studio.. Just the pacing, the arrangement kept wanting more.. It ended up as a personal favourite, particularly considering the brilliant performance from the band.
G: You say that the music was written while living between Whitehorse, Toronto and Montreal. What is it that has you living all over like that?
D: I get nervous staying still for too long I guess. Thankfully this gig doesn't put me in that position too often.
G: It also looks like you’re doing a lot of international shows, how do you keep yourself centered and calm when traveling so much?
D: Well I'm not sure I do! But like I said, it's the standing still that gets tricky...
G: The video for “Down to the Bottom” was really creative, is filmmaking or videomaking a passion of yours?
D: All credit for the video goes to Dustyn Lucas the director. A brilliant artist from Montreal; Dustyn was behind all the artwork for the record. And from the moment I shared the record and asked him to design the cover, he had this video idea in his head. Everything - from the set design to the costumes to the creatures - was all built from scratch. It was a ton of work he put in and with the exception of my big dumb face, I think it looks amazing.
G: What’s one thing you’re hoping audiences on your tour get out of your performance?
D: We've invented a new dance move. Hoping people will catch on and it will sweep the nation. It's pretty much line dancing, twerking, and moonwalking at the same time.
G: Is there a particular venue you’re looking most forward to playing?
D: Mt Fuji! Fuji Rock Fest in Japan! Holy crap that will be cool
G: Can you tell us about a few awesome places people need to visit in the Yukon?
D: I would just say visit anywhere in the Yukon, but do it in February. You haven't experienced the place until it's -40 and everyone that lives there is beginning to lose their minds.
G: And finally, what’s your current playlist? 5-10 songs you’re loving right now.
Soft Hair - Lying Has To Stop
Father John Misty - Things It Would Have Been Helpful To Know Before The Revolution
Leonard Cohen - Everybody Knows
Damien Jurado - A.M. AM
PJ Harvey - Down By a the Water
G: Thanks for chatting with us! Enjoy the rest of your tour.