Release Date: Jun 24, 2014
Record label: Captured Tracks
Genre(s): Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Pop
Donovan Blanc is a wannabe heart-throb who spends Friday evenings looking for ladies to photograph naked in his flat. At least that’s how New Jersey musicians Joseph Black and Raymond Schwab, formerly known as Honeydrum, describe the character they invented for their new project. When they sing “Donna, come on baby, I know you wanna do it/So let’s just do it,” on the Ariel Pink-like ‘Oh Donna’, it sounds creepy.
Between the years of 2011 and 2013, the guys in Donovan Blanc, Joseph Black and Raymond Schwab, released tons of weirdo lo-fi pop under the name Honeydrum, nine EPs in all. After a name change and a little bit of sonic adjustment, the duo's first album, Donovan Blanc, finds them in a very focused, very mellow place. Built on a bed of chiming, multi-layered guitars and calmly sweeping synths, the pair craft a sound that's extremely soft and relaxed, and quintessential Captured Tracks.
Head here to submit your own review of this album. Donovan Blanc consists of Joseph Black and Raymond Schwab of late New Jersey fuzz-pop merchants Honeydrum. Having grown somewhat weary of constantly churning out EPs (they had 9 in total under their previous moniker), the duo decided to work on an altogether more summery release than anything they had done previously; a little less lo-fi and a little more jangly.
Donovan Blanc has the sound and feel of a lost psych-folk solo platter, the sort of thing hardcore vinyl-heads would buy for a cool $200 in NM condition at a record fair (until it was inevitably reissued by some Italian label on 180-gram white plastic). You can almost picture Donovan as you listen to these songs—a baby-faced 22-year-old freshly escaped from some bubblegum pop unit, where he'd toiled away for three years recording upbeat Dylan covers to minor chart success. He's happy, until one tour takes him to Los Angeles in early '68; he falls in love, stumbles into Laurel Canyon, is introduced to LSD by Mama Cass, grows a moustache, cuts one trippy solo record, and disappears, never to be heard from again.