From the first burst of harmonica, jangly guitars, and contagious ’90s melodies on Peter Donovan’s “You Told Me Not To Call (I’m Wasted), ” you know this soon-to-be hit-maker has a knack for Smithereens/Marshal Crenshaw sprinkled power pop. After finding success and a dedicated fanbase with Seattle’s All The Real Girls and his side project The Rose Petals (alongside Elijah Ocean), Donovan returns this spring with his first proper solo album, This Better Be Good (4/29). Glide is premiering the hook-filled single “You Told Me Not To Call (I’m Wasted), ” (below) proving super snappy nostalgic laden tunes will never go out of style.
“Sometimes when you’re still in love with your ex, you drown your sorrows in a variety pack of White Claw, then decide it’s a good idea to telephone said ex and let them know how you feel. (Note: this is not a good idea.) When writing the song, I was trying to emulate the tongue-in-cheek storytelling of Warren Zevon and Fountains of Wayne. Musically, we drew influence from Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen, and 90s bands that I loved growing up, like The Wallflowers and Gin Blossoms. Embracing WWGBD? (What Would Gin Blossoms Do?) as the band’s operating principle in the studio led us to many tambourines, some jangly 12-string acoustics, and a splash of harmonica courtesy of producer Bradley Laina,” says Donovan.
This Better Be Good was recorded primarily live in just three days, with only a few prior rehearsals and minimal overdubs by Bradley Laina at Strange Earth Studios in Seattle. “We wanted to capture the unpredictability of a band in a room,” Donovan says. “And most importantly, we wanted to capture the togetherness. We’d all spent far too much time alone.”
Not only is the album Donovan’s most personal effort yet, but it is also a document of him rediscovering what he truly loves; music and its inherent camaraderie serving as a beacon of light, guiding him through the darkest days of the pandemic.
“Soon after quarantine began back in March 2020, I started passing the time with a challenge amongst friends to learn a new Beatles song each day. We would record performances on our phones and upload the videos to a social media page we called ‘Breakfast With The Beatles,’ he explains. “Early on in the pandemic, it was an excellent way to keep busy and motivated to continue playing music. Most importantly, it was a way for all of us to still feel connected.”