Alan Donnelly takes you on a journey through life with his EP Session One. While the catalyst for the EP was a tragedy in his family, the tracks draw on moments from childhood to the present. Combining the haunting and dark moments with the playful and happy, the EP is a true reflection on life and the ever-changing emotions we face.
The EP has been on the back burner for a while, but recent events gave Donnelly the push to turn the project into a reality. Created in a garden shed during lockdown, the songs have personal meaning while offering a broad enough connection for everyone to fall into.
The EP starts with ‘The Flood’ which looks at feeling like leaving everything behind and going on a journey of self-discovery. The acoustic guitar has a great line throughout the song and draws you into the track wonderfully. The deeper tones that bubble up from the depths of the melody sweep over you like a wave and sweep you into the lyrical journey. This is combined with Donnelly’s vocals which have a thread of pain and searching that cuts through your chest.
‘When You’re Gone’ has a completely different vibe from the first moment with a bluesy feeling to the melody. This love song has a vintage feeling to it as you are forced to sway to the music whether you want to or not. The chorus has this great push through with the vocals that just makes you smile. While not a traditional love song, the lyrics consider loving someone with everything you have and missing them whenever you are apart.
Donnelly takes you back to childhood with ‘Mirror Mirror’. Through the groovy flow of the track, he looks at the future we imagine as children and how this is warped over the years until it is unrecognisable. This skewing of the future is sonically brought to life through the movement of the melody that is absolutely hypnotic and hooks you from the first second. His vocals continue this groovy flow as his voice swirls around your head in the best possible way.
The EP ends with ‘Rain’ and its gentle acoustic guitar opening. This song has a very sad emotional tone that comes through in both the melody and lyrics. The sombre movements of the song fill you with a sense of longing while being lost in the fog. The deeper beats that come in later add a new dimension to the music as you look at the effects of being left behind.
Alan Donnelly takes you on an emotional journey through childhood plans, being left behind, love and self-discovery in Session One. The short EP is a sonic delight from start to finish and you will want to listen to the whole thing again and again. Each track has its own flair and emotional impact that sits in your chest long after the song has ended.