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"O'Donnell's compositions have a woozy barroom sagacity, and surprising arrangements to boot." -- Buzzbands LA
"Johnny O'Donnell is, perhaps, one of the few musicians around today who can say he understands what Brian Wilson was doing on Pet Sounds, and what he was trying to do on Smile, without having you snicker behind his back." -- Neotomic
Wildly inventive songwriter Johnny O'Donnell issues his double-EP debut, Masquerade / Korean Debutante today on L.A.'s White Noise Records. Accompanied by backing band Sacramento (who also play on Masquerade), O'Donnell headlines a record release party on June 30th at the Echo in Los Angeles. West Coast tour dates follow in September.
O'Donnell writes songs as cleverly restless as himself. Having leapt in recent years from rural Louisiana to Seattle to South Korea to currently settling in Los Angeles, O'Donnell pens brilliantly skewed classic pop songs that likewise shift and morph from one style and sound to the next. His talents as a composer and storyteller echo those of legends like Paul McCartney, Harry Nilsson and Elliott Smith.
Check out MP3s for "The Gothic Singer" HERE and "Supermarket Nightmare" HERE. Stream/download the full disc HERE.
The video for "The Gothic Singer" -- shot entirely on 16mm film and directed by Kyle Safieh -- is a compelling fairytale told in the style of antique silent film, depicting the adventures of a swashbuckling troubadour. Watch the video HERE.
O'Donnell is the former guitarist in avant pop band Holy Ghost Revival. After that band's breakup, he moved to Seoul, South Korea, where he penned songs for his first EP, Korean Debutante. Later moving to the City of Angels, he mentored with Van Dyke Parks prior to assembling his band, Sacramento and completing a second EP, Masquerade. The double-EP assembles all nine songs into a single LP/digital format.
On Masquerade, the Golden Era of Hollywood gets the full cinematic treatment on a tripping journey amongst the relics of glamour, adventure and globetrotting that once made entertainment immortal. "The Gothic Singer" introduces a swashbuckling songwriter who honors Fairbanks and Errol Flynn by way of rhythmic hi-jinks and a few melodic leaps of faith. Korean Debutante is a compact collection of pop diamonds written by an incorrigible rake living in a spiritual hellhole, a singing postcard to America, sung through the blurred lips of a drunken ex-pat.
Where there's syrupy romance, a haunting mystery, a haughty swagger and an amusement park's worth of harmonic twists and turns, you're probably in the company of Johnny O'Donnell & Sacramento.
JOHNNY O'DONNELL & SACRAMENTO LIVE:
06/30 Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo (Record release show)
07/08 Los Angeles, CA @ The Redwood
07/17 Los Angeles, CA @ La Cita
09/05 Long Beach, CA @ The Rocketboat
09/07 San Francisco, CA @ TBA
09/08 Portland, OR @ TBA
09/09 Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern
Album: Masquerade / Korean Debutante (STREAM)
Label: White Noise
Release Date: June 28th, 2011
02. Loose Cannons
03. The Griffin Arrives Again
04. The Inch Worm
05. Roaming Thing
06. Last Lonely Won
07. Retreat To America
08. Supermarket Nightmare (MP3)
09. Crackin' Up
On the Web: