Donovan Blanc: Donovan Blanc (Captured Tracks) Review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Issue #50 - June/July 2014 - Future IslandsDonovan Blanc

Donovan Blanc

Captured Tracks

Jul 02, 2014 Issue #50 - June/July 2014 - Future Islands Bookmark and Share

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 songsa 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.

Thing is, Donovan Blanc isn’t one guy; he’s two, and they’re both young enough to be the fictional Mr. Blanc’s grandchildren. New Jersey’s Raymond Schwab and Joseph Black previously recorded together as the bizarre, ‘80s-inspired pop outfit Honeydrum, but their new act is an altogether different beast. Donovan Blanc is a collage of vintage acid-psych styles, ripped from a range of private press and nearly-forgotten major label records of the late ‘60s. It’s similar to what Foxygen’s been doing, but far better than any of that group’s recent spinoff releases. Donovan Blanc’s keys to success are their rich harmonies and delicate, woozy guitar arrangementstheir straight-forward melodies and winking, hearts-on-their-sleeve lyrics are what make them feel so legit. Acid-folk nuts are going to love this. (

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 9/10


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