Cast your mind back to November last year, and you might recall elkyn’s single, if only it was alright now, which premiered on this site. It was an enticing introduction to the music of the Leeds-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Joseph Donnelly. Elkyn recently shared his first new material of 2021, in the shape of his new single, Something.
Discussing the track, Joseph has described it as a deeply personal piece, a track about, “all the things I tried in a pretty desperate attempt to just feel something, but ultimately finding myself stuck in the same self destructive cycle“. Musically, it marks something of a step-forward from his home-recorded debut EP, Beech, showcasing both a more crisp production and the greater scope for exploration a professional studio offers, as layered guitars, meandering keys and propulsive percussion serve as a foil to his delicate, heart-wrenching vocal delivery. Recalling acts like Angelo De Augustine or early-Villagers, elkyn seems to be pushing far beyond the clichés of what a singer-songwriter and an acoustic guitar are capable of, where he takes his music next could be thrilling.
FTR: For those who don’t know who is elkyn?
Hey! My name is Joey Donnelly, I’m 23 years old and live in Leeds. I started writing lonely folky songs for myself when I moved up to Leeds for uni five years ago. Then started properly releasing stuff last year under the name elkyn.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
My first ever elkyn show was in York at The Crescent three years ago. I remember being really nervous. I had to get my brother to play with me ‘cause we’d played a lot together when I was in his band Epilogues. It was a pretty terrifying experience but I did love it. The first gig I ever played on my own was one me and my housemates put on in our dingy basement in our third year of uni.
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
I’ve never really been that good at anything else to be honest. I feel like if I was good at art, or theatre or any other art form I’d do it, but with music it feels a bit more attainable. I still love all the arts, I just feel more comfortable with music because I understand it better.
FTR: What can people expect from the elkyn live show?
Usually a pretty intimate and sombre 25 mins and the occasional joke, that only I probably find funny, in between songs to lighten the mood a little. Full band it’ll be a bit more lively but I want to keep it intimate still.
FTR: What’s next for elkyn?
A Lot of exciting things! I can’t wait to get back out there and play shows again for people. I’m slowly forming my band, so full band elkyn will be a thing after lockdown too. A lot more music as well, I’m sitting on a lot of cool new material that I’ve been working on with my producer, Mark Gustafson, that I’m excited for everyone to hear.
They Listen To…
On Planets – Don’t Think So Hard (stripped)
Alek Olsen – Drift/(:(
Lomelda – Hannah Sun
Cherub Hands – Just Someone
Runnner – Eggshell