Behind the moniker elkyn stands Leeds scintillating singer-songwriter Joseph Donnelly. Intricately plucked guitar riffs meet introspective lyricism as this “lonely folk” artist invites you inside his deepest thoughts and fears through beautiful storytelling.
Drawing comparisons to Bon Iver, Elliott Smith and Pheobe Bridgers, his debut album ‘holy spirit social club’ sees elkyn put his uncensored inner dialogue on paper, bravely airing the thoughts most wouldn’t dare expose. Whether that’s hurtful messages to oneself, vague and elusive memories or lingering lessons from childhood, it’s all here, unfiltered and searingly honest.
This sincerity is matched in the music. While the arrangements on ‘holy spirit social club’ are far more expansive than those heard on 2020 EP ‘beech’, tender finger picks and elkyn’s distinctive half-whisper still remain at its heart. Though the pain is palpable, its impact is meditative, enveloping the listener in a safe haven where you feel free to acknowledge the darker parts of yourself.
His unflinching honesty has seen elkyn’s debut album receive glowing reviews from many publications including Shindig!, Americana UK and Record Collector who called it ‘something special’. elkyn’s music has also been a streaming success with songs featured on multiple official Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and Tidal playlists. He has also received strong radio support from BBC 6 Music, BBC Introducing, BBC Radio London, Radio X, Absolute Radio and Amazing Radio.
Whilst elkyn isn’t exactly kind to himself on ‘holy spirit social club’, it does see him lift a monumental weight from his shoulders. In elkyn’s words, it’s “an interim into writing nicer songs and being nicer to myself”. In creating ‘holy spirit social club’, he has faced demons that he’s shied away from for too long, finding a way back to himself that previously felt impossible. It’s only by sitting with your darkest moments that you can begin to glimpse the light – ‘holy spirit social club’ is proof of that and a whole lot more.
Something special. An intimate and relatable album. Record Collector
Elliott Smith, Bon Iver introspection. Recommended for dreamers. Shindig!
Wistful, sometimes dreamy, sparkly folk. Recommended. Americana UK
A vulnerable and radiantly raw experience. Atwood Magazine