Mike Donovan has seen his share of the world, making records and playing shows all over the past 20 years with, chronologically, The Ropers, Yikes, The Hospitals, Sic Alps, Ty Segall, The Peacers and most recently, himself. In June of 2017 Mike led The Peacers’ sophomore effort, ‘Introducing The Crimsmen’, into the world. In 2018 his own sophomore solo release, ‘How To Get Your Record Played In Shops’, hit down (in shops - it worked!). Now a third album arrives, as Mike whisks us away to his remote ‘Exurbian Quonset’ - an album that stands out like a fork in the road.
A pure solo record - Mike created everything, from voices and guitars to keys and space. It is pure pop music as well, as it has been played in dark, wet corners (and on the safety of cold, dry turntables) for the past half-century. Abstract-, post-, deconstuct- and autodestruct are as much a part of Mike’s songs and singing as the melodic evocations of personal moods and private memories, dreams and fantasy, a Proustian matrix, stamped into antic untameter.
After a burst of Velvet clatter and noise, clamour, balladry and cavernous shimmying to open the record, the skies clear and birds appear, as if to signal a new season. Side two displays his deep propers, moving from the uncompromising Lennonist collage, ‘Wot Do Rich People Do All Day’ to the cheerful McCartneyisms of ‘B.O.C. Rate Applied’ to the Harrisonseque despondence of ‘Nowhere Descender’, creating corroded ‘White Album’-esque fx in our mind without ever leaving his own backyard - or cleaning it up. The mood is only extended with the acid-burnt instrumental ‘Zone Dome’ and the farewell ditty ‘My System’, ringing down the curtain in definitively (Mike) Donovanesque fashion. Where will we find him next?
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Wot Do Rich People Do
B.O.C. Rate Applied
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Nominated 'Best Independent Retailer' at the Music Week Awards in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Nominated "Indie Champions" at the 2015 AIM Awards.