Donovan Quinn has been surrounded by music his entire life. The son of Dave Carter, bassist & vocalist for legendary 60’s psychedelic group Country Weather (consult Hans Pokora), and named after Mr. Leitch, Quinn grew up on a horse ranch in Walnut Creek, CA and began writing songs at an early age. He entered into public consciousness with disparate contributions to both the sunny psych-folk duo The Skygreen Leopards (alongside Glenn Donaldson, releases on Jagjaguwar) and his melancholic solo recordings under the wildly appropriate Verdure banner (releases on Camera Obscura). But the past is past, and Donovan’s steadily growing reputation as a first rate darkly romantic penman has culminated with his latest endeavor, a new solo vehicle known as Donovan Quinn & the 13th Month.
Rather than aping or ducking genres, Quinn has crafted a bright spectrum of songs best described as ‘American.’ Xian folk, languid indie pop, VU cool, loner country, and west coast psych are touchstones given equal prejudice, with Quinn’s singular lyrical abilities & taste for sun-baked song at the fore. Ever the flower bed romantic, Quinn has – at the risk of over-simplification – written a classic “break-up record;” albeit one filtered through surrealistic tenderness and riddled with red herrings and feelings of betrothal. The self-titled LP is a masterpiece of freewheeling pathos complete with spacious arrangements, tossed-off vocals, and a woozily thrumming groove. Though not exactly lost in a sea of scarves, Quinn is indebted to the vulnerability, humor and bitterness present in the works of Ronnie Lane, Skip Spence, Nikki Sudden and Basement Tapes-era Dylan.
Weaving earthy melodies around Quinn’s characteristically hazy vocals is The 13th Month: a small rotating cast of friends & collaborators including Jason Quever (Papercuts) who also produced the record, Karl Bauer (Axolotl), Hélène Renaut, and Jess Roberts. The players opted for simplistic song forms to allow for maximum spontaneity, and the results are thankfully devoid of aimless jamming but still possess the grinning feeling of a band kicking up dust.
Donovan Quinn & the 13th Month, in advance of the self-titled album, (Street Date Sept. 24), have issued a limited 7″ (500 copies, also available digitally) for the album’s first single, ‘Sister Alchemy.’ The single also includes the exclusive b-side ‘The Rabbit Tracks,’ which comes from the same sessions that yielded the LP. Elisa Ambrogio, writing in Arthur Magazine, says of Donovan, “Quinn is a Marlboro man mystic channeled through Francois Hardy just woken from a nap: frowsy, susurrant and surly. He curls out chords like Duane Eddy on ludes,” before proclaiming the songs from the single as ‘regional hits.’ Donovan Quinn & the 13th Month’s regional appeal will soon spread when the band embark on their first tour in the autumn months.
S/T (Soft Abuse)
Street Date: Sept. 24, 2008
01. October’s Bride
02. Horror & Fear
03. Sister Alchemy
04. Patterns on a Summer Dress
05. The Wind At Her Craft
07. They’re Going To Pick Us Apart
08. Take the Cross Off the Mantle
09. Hollowed Candles
10. “Moose Indian”
11. Holy Agent
12. Dark Angel
13. Heathen Honeymoon
14. I Have Seen the Season Change
Sister Alchemy single (Soft Abuse)
Street Date: June. 24, 2008
01. Sister Alchemy
02. The Rabbit Tracks
DONOVAN QUINN LINKS:
Press Materials: www.softabuse.com/press_kits/donovan_quinn_press.html