Emily Donohue
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Emily Donohue

Seattle, Washington, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

Seattle, Washington, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Solo Pop Indie




"Attractive Singles: July 2016"

Emily Donohue, “Saturday Night”
This 24-year-old singer-songwriter wields a husky coo that cuts like a switchblade, and a mind just as sharp. From simple ukulele chords and that stunning voice, Donohue wrings all the vintage, teen-tragedy irony from this Misfits cover, which closes an EP of four devastating originals. - City Arts Magazine

"Northwest Music Month Feature"

Coming straight out of the high-yielding Seattle singer-songwriter scene, Emily Donohue is somewhat of a treasure in our local scene. Very few artists hit right out of the gate with as much confidence or creative talent as Donohue. It’s not easy to have such a small discography under your belt, while amassing pretty spot-on comparisons to nationally-renowned artists like Regina Spektor and Adele, but here you have Emily, whose couple EPs already sound ready for mass consumption, while feeling incredibly natural and personal.

Released just last month, Emily Donohue’s latest release, the Vices EP, is undeniably a force to be reckoned with when it comes to singer-songwriter music, and a release other up-and-coming singer-songwriters should take notes from. Praised by our own publication as being “much more mature than what’s found in most popular music that it shares similar sonic characteristics to,” we lauded the EP for its soul and depth, while falling in love with how “the multi-talented Donohue pours her heart, soul, and straight up solid musicianship into her sultry, honest vocals, serious guitar strumming, and even a mournful ukulele.”

Don’t let the “pop music” tags turn you off; Emily Donohue’s music feels anything but watered down. It doesn’t feel overly desperate for radio play, or even for buzz and acceptance from the hard-to-please indie crowd. Emily is just making the kind of music she wants to make, and just happens to be really damn good at it.

You can follow Emily Donohue on Facebook, Twitter, and Bandcamp, and sample the Vices EP below. - Northwest Music Scene

"Album Review: Vices"

Emily Donohue is an artist on a quest to translate her innermost feelings and most moving life experiences into beautiful melodies that people can relate to. Her recent EP, “Vices” is a display of maturity, developed with her second and much more layered release. If her previous EP, “I don’t know how to love you, darling” was a mark of promising artistic adolescence, “Vices” establishes Emily as a musical force to be reckoned with.

Her authentic and fierce songwriting is built on refreshingly simple ideas, executed remarkably well. This is especially apparent in the bold first track, “Shallow Grave”, where Donohue experiments with her intense and deep soulful singing and other sonic textures.

“Dream Demons”, the second track on the release, recalls the soulfulness and minimal musings of James Blake.

My personal favorite, “Your Love is Killing Me”, is an immersive track that creates a bridge between Emily’s newfound direction and her earlier work.

Overall, “Vices” is an absolutely enchanting EP, and it is sure to captivate anyone who hears it. Her musical intensity is an absolute joy to experience. - Bandcamp Diaries

"Emily Donohue Gets Emotional On Her EP, Vices."

Emily Donohue’s second EP Vices is an insight into the psyche of a sensible soul and a portrait of a talented artist. This release is filled to the brim with haunting melodies, heartfelt lyrics and raw vocals that exude emotion. Donohue’s truthful and at times dark lyrical poetry is insightful and authentic, immediately connecting listeners with timeless personal themes. In the first track of the album, Shallow Grave, Donohue showcases her most earnest performance yet, recalling the textural arrangements of earlier Chet Faker music or Portishead. Vices is the third track of this eclectic EP, as the artist takes her edgy pop melodies further. Saturday Night denotes a change of vibes, with a playful Ukulele to add some sunshine and lightness to the mix. This EP really echoes influences such as Adele and Justin Vernon (also known as Bon Iver), with an organic and warm energy that is brought forth by contrasting light and darkness in the musical arrangements. Discover more: emilydonohuemusic.com/ - BuzzFeed

"Emily Donohue Releases New EP"

Emily Donohue has released her sophomore EP, Vices. The Seattle singer-songwriter is alluring and expressive, as she narrates listeners through “the dark side of humanity, wickedness, cruelty, and love.” Her powerful voice has a distinct folksy tinge to it, which blends beautifully with the music’s instrumentals. Stream and purchase the release, which includes a cover of Misfits’ “Saturday Night,” below. - The Permanent Rain Press

"Review: Emily Donohue’s Commanding ‘Vices’ EP"

Soul. Depth. Deep blue hues from an overcast horizon while a distant sun sets. These are a few things that come to mind when thinking about Emily Donohue‘s second EP Vices. The multi-talented Donohue pours her heart, soul, and straight up solid musicianship into her sultry, honest vocals, serious guitar strumming, and even a mournful ukulele. This is an EP that sounds like it could be a forgotten work of Adele’s.

Opening with the exceedingly gorgeous “Shallow Grave,” Emily really allows her vocal prowess to shine and dominate this very dark track. It’s reminiscent of John Legend’s darker ballads, but sang in a belting vocal register. From there, the EP moves into “Dream Demons,” an Americana-influenced soul track. The title track, “Vices,” has a light rock feel, and dabbles a bit in Florence + The Machine territory. Vices ends out with a deceptively upbeat number, “Saturday Night.” While the ukulele is known as a cheerful instrument, it’s a fading ray of light to this EP’s end.

Lyrically, Vices is much more mature than what’s found in most popular music that it shares similar sonic characteristics to, lending itself to closer examination with each listen. Being Emily’s second EP, the sound is more mature, the recording is cleaner, and she’s proving herself to not just be a songwriter and vocalist, but also a multi-instrumentalist. With the added bonus of some gorgeous piano by Michael Sparks Jr., along with recording and production by Robert Cheek, Vices is a serious highlight of 2016 so far.

(Vices will be released digitally via http://emilydonohue.bandcamp.com/ tomorrow morning, May 6th, with the EP set for release on iTunes and various other platforms in the coming days. Keep an eye on emilydonohuemusic.com for more information.) - Northwest Music Scene

"Friday Feature: Emily Donohue"

Emily Donohue is a singer/songwriter hailing from Bainbridge Island, Washington. She started singing at an early age, but it wasn't until teaching herself guitar during her freshman year of college that she truly began to explore life through lyrics. She is a self-taught multi-instrumentalist with large repertoire of heartbreaking original songs; the deeply personal, yet universal messages in her songs resonate with audiences of all kinds. Her songs are an intriguing blend of jazz, pop, and folk and her lyrics are an intensely vulnerable look into her life. Donohue’s voice is frequently held in league with Norah Jones, Billie Holiday, Adele, and Florence Welch, and her lyrics are heavily influenced by musicians of the Pacific Northwest whom she grew up listening to (Elliott Smith, The Shins, Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes, etc.).

Currently living in Seattle, Washington, Donohue draws inspiration from the majestic scenery of the Pacific Northwest.
J: What is the story behind your song "I Don't Know How To Love You, Darling"?
E: The song I submitted is the title track off of the EP I released in June. It was one of the first songs I wrote on the piano, and it was a blast to record. The message in the song is something that I think resonates with a large audience – sometimes we want to love someone or something, but we simply don’t know how to. In my experience, communication barriers can be a huge issue in relationships, romantic or platonic, and this song was a way of trying to address that. At some point, everyone has trouble articulating what they want or need from themselves and others, and at the core of it, that’s what the song is about.

J: Why do you write music?
E: My music is typically very personal and cathartic; it’s a healthy way for me to work through life and the quandaries associated with it. That being said, I try to be mindful of writing in a way others can relate to. For me, music has been a coping mechanism – not just writing and performing, but listening. There are certain songs or albums that are so viscerally intertwined with where I was, emotionally or physically, that I can’t help but be transported back to the moments I was listening. I would love to be able to be that for someone else. Music is truly magical in the way it connects people who would otherwise be strangers. Of course, this is something I struggle with, given that my songs tend to be about my private life. It’s a weird balance between honesty and narcissistic, unnecessary voyeurism.

J: What are your fondest musical memories?
E: My fondest musical memory was the night I saw Band of Horses on their “Infinite Arms” tour. It was a really life-changing moment. I can't really explain what it was, but the energy in the room and coming from the stage was absolutely intoxicating. If I were to pick a moment in my cognitive life that I knew I wanted to pursue music in a serious way, it was that night. One of my own personal favorite musical moments came a few months ago, while I was recording the Phosphorescent cover on I Don't Know How to Love You, Darling. I usually have a terrible habit of getting too neurotic about imperfections in my performance, but that song came really easily. We recorded it in one take, and it wasn't perfect by any means, but that's part of the reason I loved the original version of the song -- Matthew Houck's delivery is so visceral that it transcends any technical deficiencies in the recording. It felt like an authentic interpretation of a song I greatly admire and I am really proud of the way it came out

J: If you could open a set for anyone, who would it be?
E: I would love to open for Tobias Jesso Jr. at some point. His debut album, Goon, was fantastic, he’s reportedly written a song off of Adele’s upcoming album, and he is definitely an artist I would love to work with, if possible.

J: Why is independent music important to you?
E: Independent music is important to me, because I am a hopeless romantic and I want to think that an artist doesn’t need the giant media machine to connect with fans. This is obviously highly idealistic, but I do still think it’s possible for a musician to be honest about who they are and what their songs mean without having to dilute that in order to be successful in the traditional sense.

J: What is your advise to fellow independent artists?
E: I don't know that I am really qualified to give advice to other artists, but if I must, it would be to join the local community and build relationships with other artists. After years of making YouTube videos, but being too afraid to perform live, I decided to push myself to start playing open mics last summer. I was fortunate enough to meet another artist, Arthur James, shortly thereafter who became a phenomenal mentor and friend. We formed somewhat of a "collective" with other artists we'd met by chance or through various open mics and performances, and more artists are joining as time goes by. It really started as a way to get a bit more momentum and support from other people who understand the struggles of being an "up-and-coming" artist. In a city like Seattle, where there is such a saturation of talented artists, I think it's important to band together (no pun intended) and support each other's success rather than view each other as competition.

J: Didn't you just release new music?
E: I am working an a collaboration with another Seattle artist, Arthur James, right now. I am hoping that will be out in November, then I am planning to head back into the studio in December to work on some more solo material. - Jesse Lacy

"Emily Donohue’s Swoon-Worthy Tracks"

Emily Donohue’s music has soul beyond her years. The indie artist brings the folksy vibes of Bon Iver alongside the bluesy vocals of Norah Jones. Her deeply personal lyrics that tend on heartbreak, renewal, love, and loss all cater to a larger, human audience. You can’t help but relate to the emotionality in her tone, and yet you’ll find yourself swaying alongside her piano melody.

Her EP, I Don’t Know How to Love You Darling, was released in early June and more of her work can be found on her website. - The WILD Magazine

"Do206 Interview: Emily Donohue"

Do206 sat down with Emily Donohue to talk about her favorite Seattle spots, creeping after other people's dogs, and how one show changed her life.

When you think of Seattle and music, what comes to mind?

For me, Seattle music is Sub Pop. I grew up in the suburbs of Seattle, and I looked to artists like The Shins, Band of Horses, and Fleet Foxes for inspiration. The night I saw Band of Horses at The Paramount on their “Infinite Arms” tour was really life-changing. If I were to pick a moment in my cognitive life that I knew I wanted to pursue music in a serious way, it was that night.

Where do you draw inspiration for your music and creativity?

My music is typically very personal and often times cathartic, which is certainly not an artistic trait that is unique to me. Though the songs I write may be based off of my own experiences, I try to be mindful of writing in a way that will resonate with people on a wider scale. In music and culture today it can be so easy to disassociate the artist from the art, but I find that the songs that inspire me as a listener tend to be a bit more voyeuristic; an intensely vulnerable and intimate look into someone else's life.

What are your favorite places around Seattle?

Fremont Peak Park is one of my favorite neighborhood haunts - beautiful view of Ballard and downtown Seattle, and generally really peaceful. The Quad on the UW campus, I graduated a couple years ago and as cliché as it sounds, I still get excited about those cherry blossoms. Lastly, Paseo, if you've ever eaten there no explanation is necessary.

What other local artists are you listening to that should be on our radar?

I have had the privilege of working with some supremely talented musicians over the last year, but I'd have to say my favorite acts to share a stage with are: Arthur James and a duo called Alki. I perform with Arthur regularly, but he still manages to blow me away each time I hear him; the only rival to the power of his voice is the intelligence of his songwriting. Alki is a relatively recent addition to the Seattle music scene, but they are undoubtedly going to be big. They are a two guys out of Austin, who make sweeping, aurally-sophisticated songs that still manage to be relatable to listeners.

Give us your Top 5 - this can be any top 5 list of things like greatest make out songs, best burritos, worst pick-up lines?

I live in an apartment complex that doesn't allow dogs, so at this point I am forced to be a creep, lusting after other peoples' canine companions, so here is my list of "Top 5 Places to Dog Watch"

1) Greenlake - especially when the weather is beautiful, and outdoor seating is opened
2) Regrade Park (Belltown) - My morning commute is made better by the sight of this park as my bus makes its way down 3rd Avenue
3) Ravenna Park
4) Cafe Vita on the corner of Fremont Ave., but really any coffee shop will do!
5) My computer - where I scout out all of the dogs I am going to love one day - Do206

"Emily Donohue Releases Debut EP"

Seattle indie pop songstress Emily Donohue has released her debut EP, I Don’t Know How to Love You, Darling. The musician, who draws influence from Adele and Bon Iver, crafts a six-track release - including a cover of Phosphorescent’s “Wolves” - that is folksy, charming and eloquent. Stream and purchase the EP below. - The Permanent Rain Press


Still working on that hot first release.



Emily is a singer-songwriter based in Seattle.

During her freshmen year of college, she found her passion in writing poetic lyrics about her life and experience, often turning such heartfelt lyricism into appealing pop songs. In her music, Emily explores love, hopes, dreams, struggles and other timeless themes that deeply resonate among listeners of all ages. Her singing echoes the powerful vocal chords of Adele, but she can also be as suave as Regina Spektor. Such versatile vocals blend in with an interesting soundscape in the wake of artists such as Kimbra, Chet Faker or James Blake, among others.

​Emily ultimately brings identity and depth to pop music, bridging the gaps between deep lyrical work and catchy melodies. A multi-instrumentalist and versatile performer, she can often be found playing her guitar while singing her heart out on a stage or in the recording studio.

Band Members