SJD is the nom-de-disque of Sean James Donnelly. Since his first self-released album ‘3’ he has unleashed a series of five stunning albums for the Round Trip Mars label.
Amongst those ‘Lost Soul Music’ introduced a wider audience to Sean’s unique vision with songs like ‘Tree People’ and ‘A Boy’, while perennial favourite ‘Southern Lights’ picked up two Tuis in the 2005 NZ Music Awards and included ‘Superman, You’re Crying’ as well as sampling The Clean in From ‘A To B Or Not To Be’.
Subsequent album ‘Songs From A Dictaphone’ netted him a bNet award for Best Producer and contained the songs ‘Beautiful Haze’ and ‘I Wrote This Song For You’ – bringing Sean to a wider audience again. Quickly moving on, a collaboration with guitar genius James Duncan created the album ‘Dayglo Spectres’ released in 2008 and hitting the upper reaches of many critics’ best-of-the-year lists…
Following a stint as co-producer and keyboard player in Neil Finn’s Pajama Club, and marshalling an all star cast for the Breast Cancer Foundation release of Chris Knox’s ‘Not Given Lightly’ Sean returned to his solo synthesized roots with a stunning set of new songs on the 2012 release ‘Elastic Wasteland’ which garnered him the illustrious 2013 Taite Prize and later that same year, an Emerging Artist award from the Arts Foundation of New Zealand.
SJD has always been well represented as a live proposition and latest album ‘Saint John Divine’ represents an opportunity to go one better – recorded and mixed at Roundhead studios in 2013/14 with live band in a room, this will be widely regarded as SJD’s best effort yet. Featuring longtime SJD collaborators James Duncan, Sandy Mill, Chris O’Connor and Victoria Kelly – it also includes Mike Hall on bass, Neil Finn on piano/guitar duties, and singers Julia Deans and Anna Coddington. The album also features string arrangements by Sean himself in what is his most song-oriented release to date.
SJD, the band, are looking forward to getting back on the live circuit with their best ever bunch of songs and a show that highlights their deft musicality, playfulness and vocal power.