Words: James Frostick

Donny Love gears up for the release of its upcoming debut album Sensation with new track ‘Dysfunctional Lovers’. The tune puts thoughts on casual romance and interpersonal strife to a backing track of soulful and sunny rock and roll – an earnest ode to the disconnect between two people and also between the brain and the heart.

They say godliness is next to cleanliness, I don’t believe in either. Do you?
Nor righteousness, nor wickedness. Am I a believer? Well, are you?

The above lyrical segment has been plucked from the second verse of Donny Love’s new track ‘Dysfunctional Lovers’. I begin this here piece with this fragment because it highlights a common mindset in contemporary dating culture (as far as keeping things casual is concerned). It’s the belief that no one is clean or perfect, yet we aren’t inherently wicked or vile as a consequence, and judgement is best saved for something of consequence. There is no pedestal to place others or be placed upon – we are simply human. Being human, we’re prone to fucking things up. Sometimes acting with such a laissez faire approach causes conflict, despite the assumption that both parties are on the same page. Sometimes we have the common sense to let go of something when it doesn’t work. Sometimes we don’t. Remember: nobody is perfect.

Gold Coast ensemble Donny Love has taken this complicated aspect of human nature and examined it under the musical microscope. ‘Dysfunctional Lovers’ succinctly summarises the warts-and-all beauty of casual flings enjoyed past their use-by date – the friction of two different personalities in close proximity, the gap between physical attraction and emotional empathy, the destructive behaviours that emerge over time and the self-analysis and jealousy that breeds. People become paranoid, drama escalates, and the push and pull of emotions threatens to tear our souls in half.

The thing is, the band does a great job of keeping all of this light.

In ‘Dysfunctional Lovers’, Donny Love does plenty to instil soul into the heart of the track – foregrounding robust horns, plucky keys and slinky strumming that evokes sunlit escapades and carefree afternoons. It’s upbeat, it’s timeless, it’s vibrant and it’s a breath of fresh air. The thing that makes the track so remarkable is how masterfully all of the above hides the grief at the thematic crux of the song – the stress of mess. Donny Love communicates the subtleties of the subject matter well, buoying it with remarkable indie-bop that makes the topic easily digestible but no less impactful. This is the sound of maturation. This song’s got a lot to give, and can bring you out of a funk if caught in the doldrums of a depressing romance.

‘Dysfunctional Lovers’ features on Donny Love’s forthcoming album Sensation – a ten-track record out on May 4, released independently. Once the album is out, Donny Love will be hitting the road. You’ll be able to catch them at the following dates:

May 18 at The Northern, Byron Bay
May 25 at The Grace Darling, Melbourne
May 26 at The Foundry, Brisbane
June 8 at Elsewhere, Gold Coast