Sean James Donnelly – production whizz, class bass-player, and thoroughly uneven song-writer. In 2003 Sjd was thrust into the spotlight after years of touring support and assisting production for the likes of Shayne Carters’ Dimmer with the debut of his hugely popular Lost Soul Music full-length, and increasingly prolific appearances on television and in advertising, which then followed through to the release of follow-up Southern Lights in 2004.
SJD’s music is a combination of electronic and live instrumentation, with songs featuring a bevy of fine New Zealand musicians making contributions (David Kilgour making a particularly stunning appearance on guitar on the excellent single ‘From A To Be Or Not To Be’). His live appearances however, have have gone down as either electrifying (witness the stellar performance on charity tv event National Anthem) or simply tepid (several banal performances in 2004), perhaps due to the laid-back melodic and simply background approach to the music he’s making.
Circa 2007 SJD is hard at work in the studio preparing the fourth album, with a superstar support band featuring the talented Chris O’Conner (Drums), James Duncan (Guitar), Dominic Blazaar (Keys/BV’s) and Paul McLaney (Guitar/BV’s).
Discography (picks in bold)
- Lost Soul Music [2003 Round Trip Mars]
- Southern Lights [2004 Round Trip Mars]
- Southern Lights Pick’N’Mix Edition [2004 Round Trip Mars]
- 3 [Round Trip Mars]
Dynamic, flowing rock with electronic influences and dark musical overtones. basically the one-man project of former Doublehappys / Straightjacket Fits frontman Shayne Carter, Dimmer spent the best part of 5 years living off the expectations that their solitary debut EP Crystalator produced (as well as Carters’ impeccable previous track record).
In 2001, the catalyst of this seclusion was finally released – I Believe You Are A Star – and its a stunner.
Carter followed up in 2004 with You’ve Got To Hear The Music, expanding his sound with an all-star list of contributors (some even in the pop field) and toured the album with Ned Ngatae on guitar, Mike Hall (Pluto/Sola Rosa) on bass, Andy Morton on keys, Willy Scott (King Kapisi / Sola Rosa) on drums, and Anika Moa on backing vocals.
Other guests on the album include, SJD who added production wizardry on ‘case’, Graeme Downes of the Verlaines, who arranged and conducted strings on ‘Only One That Matters’, Nick Roughan and Andy ‘Submariner’ Morton kept things appropriately phat in the beat and production department, while Dimmer tickman and animated video genius, Gary Sullivan, added his own trademark sly touch. Anika Moa appears on a number of tracks bringing a new dimension to Carter’s voice, and teams up on ‘Happening’ with Bic Runga with a spine-tingling effect.
From Festival Mushroom’s promotional blurb
- Shayne Carter (Vocals/Guitar/Bass, 1995 -)
- Peter Jefferies (Drums, 1995)
- Lou Allison (Bass, 1995)
- Gary Sullivan (Drums, 1999 – 2009)
- Nick Roughan (Guitar/Bass/Drum Programming, 2001 – 2006?)
- Andy Morton (Keyboards/Drum Programming, 2001 – 2006?)
- Ned Ngatae (Guitar, 2003?)
- Anika Moa (Vocals, 2004)
- Bic Runga (Vocals, 2004)
- James Duncan (Guitar/Bass/Keyboards, 2009)
- Kelly Steven (Bass/Flute/Vocals, 2009)
- Dino Karlis (Drums/Percussion, 2009)
- Michael Prain (Drums, 2009)
- Crystalator (7″) (1995, Sub Pop/Flying Nun Records, SP326/FN310)
- Don’t Make Me Buy Out Your Silence Single (1996, Flying Nun Records)
- Evolution Single (1999, Columbia, 668560)
- I Believe You Are A Star (2001, Columbia, 5024222000)
- Getting What You Give Mini-Album (2003, Columbia)
- You’ve Got To Hear The Music (2004, Festival Mushroom Records)
- There My Dear (2006, Warner Music)
- Degrees Of Existence (2009, Warner Music, 5186551402)