On Melancholia, Emily Donohue’s luminous, honeyed voice soars above a bed of ringing, spaciously music that blurs the lines between unabashed pop and electro-tinged indie rock. Donohue, a rising star in the Pacific Northwest, moves through her music with an easy grace, lending the record an in-the-pocket feel that is eminently engaging. A collection of painterly vignettes, “Melancholia is the story of a young woman trying to find her place – and herself – in modern society” explains Donohue.
"She’s able to captivate and articulate perfectly..."
THE WILD HONEY PIE
Music has been the common thread laced through Donohue’s young life. She started singing as a very young child, taught herself to play guitar in college, and decided to make a go at it professionally post-graduation. In 2015 she began playing open mics, and learned the ukulele and piano. Her first EP, I Don’t Know How To Love You, Darling, released in June of that year, drew influence from personal experience, and like many artists before, her hometown of Seattle. Songs from that EP have been streamed over 1,000,000 times and have been featured on numerous Spotify Official playlists.
“…wields a husky coo that cuts like a switchblade, and a mind just as sharp.” CITY ARTS
Donohue continued to develop her creative voice on her 2016 EP, Vices. The record starts with powerful piano ballad, slides into a blues-tinged electric guitar centered track, then folds – strangely yet perfectly - into a Misfits cover on ukulele. Donohue’s live performances have captivated audiences across the country. Worldwide, she has 65,000 monthly online listeners spanning over 30 countries. Immediately following that release Donohue began writing the songs that would become Melancholia.
"...her whiskey-warm voice setting the foundation for her soul-heavy indie rock delivery." - PopMatters
A quiver of new songs in hand, Donohue decamped to In Silence Recording Studio in Los Angeles, CA to track the record. Melancholia was produced by Michael Pepe (Taking Back Sunday), and features appearances by Michael Pepe, Tony Thaxton (Motion City Soundtrack), Jay Randy, Doug Rockwell, Joseph Pepe, Danny Lopez, Danny Santamaria, and Michael Sparks Jr.
“Donohue’s truthful and at times dark lyrical poetry is insightful and authentic, immediately connecting listeners with timeless personal themes.” BUZZFEED
Lyrically, the record is a journey through relationships and time. From the guileless attempts at finding deeper meaning in infatuation, the realization that some relationships are ephemeral and simply doomed to fail, personal growth through solitary experiences, resisting apathy in times of political turmoil, and finally, finding comfort and contentment in love.
“…here you have Emily, whose couple EPs already sound ready for mass consumption, while feeling incredibly natural and personal.” NORTHWEST MUSIC SCENE
“The title derives from Hippocrates’ pre-modern medical belief of the four humors; the term was used broadly to define what is now understood as depression” says Donohue. “Aristotle wrote of melancholia as a symptom common among those in the arts in his essay On Melancholy. Akin to drunkenness, he noted that the melancholic disposition in moderation enhances creative expression, but in excess risks self-destruction. The use of the more romantic, historical expression is indicative of the balance I hoped to find in the songs on this album: the daily battle between a natural inclination toward moroseness, and the yearning for love and hope.”
"...a gorgeous composition that encapsulates all of these Donohue trademarks." - PopMatters
While writing Melancholia Donohue was wracked with feelings of panic and isolation, yet when she sat at her piano to write she felt in control. Channeling that anxiety and fear – both personal and cultural - into her art, each song became a meditation. “These songs were the remedy for my own melancholia” Donohue tells us. “If this record helps even one person as much as it helped me to write it, then I've done something good.”