You haven’t heard a band traverse genres quite like Sunshine Coast-based psych groovers, Dear Doonan. Their new single Skull Shine feels like a wonderful, genre-bending, kaleidoscopic journey, seamlessly arranged.
Born out of band jams, the song was originally written by lead singer-songwriter Zachariah Norton as a folky country-blues number, however, with the full Dear Doonan input, the song melts from folk waltz through to freaky experimental psych-rock. What has emerged is a song that shifts and changes on a gripping four-part journey.
Skull Shine, the new single from Sunshine Coast band Dear Doonan, morphs from folky banjo blues into freaky experimental psych-rock.
For the first part, jangly banjo melodies strum out the original chord progression, rooted deep in old-style country. Featuring harmonica riffs and a walking baseline, it establishes the lyrical motif for the song, “it’s a sad day for sure, when you see time walk out the door”.
After the first few minutes of these country banjo blues, layers of heavier electric guitars and effects start to seep in. An agitated baseline moves underneath layers of fuzzy distortion and a building drum beat that drives through to the centre of the song.
By the middle, this fast-paced electricity morphs into a psychedelic trip where time signatures seem to slip backwards, as if the band are playing with the fabric of time and space. Echoing vocals carry visualisations of “skull shine/monkey wine” that simmer over the screaming instrumental fume.
The distraught bass riff and warping haze of experimental guitar sounds all reel back in for the song’s fourth and final part: a tumultuous grasp on time, in peak frenzy to finish the song.
If you haven’t already been captivated, take the plunge into the multi-coloured madness of Dear Doonan.
Dear Doonan are set to release their debut album end of the October, with another single coming your way in a few weeks, produced by guitarist Steve Summers (Stonewax Productions).