Donnarumma have delivered an exciting fusion of pop rock and one hell of a brass section in their new EP Billy Billy.
Upbeat yet lulling down in all the right places, Billy Billy is a confident EP and undoubtedly worthy of a listen.
With silky saxophones, hardy storylines and a bold pop rock sound, Billy Billy by Donnarumma is a feast of all your favourite noise.
Opening track Love Your Man is sparse and raw, with minimal instrumentation but a humming horn section, the lilting and soulfully articulated vocals are far from forgettable. Into the Moss follows with a slightly more sultry tone, equally alluring yet favouring brass build ups this time around. Think a touch of Winston Surfshirt with a more convincing vocal.
Coming back in with the simplicity, The Anxious Dance is distinctly more pop, with darker lyrical tones complimenting the brighter sound.
Then in comes probably my favourite track on the EP, All Night Long. It’s sassy and sensual, like if Kings of Leon kept playing in their garage and maintained that adolescent fury. And finally Billy Billy, the title track, wraps up the record in a soft and sweet ballad, gorgeous harmonies and a yearning trajectory that prevents the EP from straying off into the abyss.
Donnarumma’s sound is reflective of a ska, pop rock fusion, the likes of which we haven’t seen since The Cat Empire. Their marriage of sounds and fearless vocals makes Billy Billy a cracker of an EP.
Eager to grab a little more perspective, we asked the artists themselves to give us the lowdown on Billy Billy. Being a group of straight legends, they were more than happy to provide:
Love Your Man
Love Your Man is a hard-hitting, punchy song all around. It oozes raw energy from the first big bass and drum hit then it gets knocked up a gear when the horns enter.
We decided to have it first up on the EP as a sonic punch in the listener’s gut. Coming out swinging sets the tone for what’s in store in the next tracks. It features our talented friend Emile Ryjoch on saxophone.
Into The Moss
Anthony and I were bored and poor on winter’s night, with the absence of anything to do we decided to go and busk in the cold. It was a pretty miserable night and we got sick of playing pop bangers to please the masses so we decided to jam.
Anthony came up with a groove over some chords he was mucking around with, after that night I went home and fleshed out Into The Moss. Memorable recording moments would be tied with Tom Voss taking an amazing solo and smashing so many burgers with our Engineer and Unofficial Fancy Burger Spokesman Tom Barnes.
The Anxious Dance
We are lucky to have a bunch of super talented friends on this track. We got dark pop queen MANE, Maggie Rutjens from Timberwolf and local heart melter Ollie English. This one was a collaborative effort to record, we got MANE to sing the hook for the bridge then layered harmonies from Maggie and Ollie on top of that.
I remember Ollie being in the booth going take after take as Maggie sung the melody line that she wanted him to play. It was pretty scary because we all had the same melody in our head.
All Night Long
This is another no holds barred song. I got sick of having to hide what I wanted to say because mum always taught me to be polite. Fortunately, mum wasn’t in the studio so I could say whatever I wanted.
We laugh about it now, it’s not the most poetic line but it paints a clear picture. I doubt you could get any clearer that “I don’t give a shit about you”.
For those of you who have seen the Love Your Man clip, you would’ve seen me get a beat down. The slap in the clip was 100% real, I had a mark on my face to prove it. Our bassist Anthony was so excited that he filmed it on his phone.
When we were adding some extra touches to the song we felt like the claps at the end were lacking some “oomph”. Max had the idea of taking the audio from the slap video and putting it in with our recorded claps. Instantly they sounded round and full, talk about suffering for art!
Donnarumma are taking their EP around town, so catch them on any of the dates below for a bleedin’ good time.
Billy Billy is out this Friday.