Gareth Donkin – Welcome Home [Album]

Described as a “soul savant” in a Billboard feature out this week, London-based singer-songwriter and producer Gareth Donkin has released his debut album Welcome Home via drink sum wtr, a new label formed by A&R Nigil Mack in partnership with Secretly Group, as a part of the newly minted All Flowers Group. Across 10 shimmering tracks that mine classic influences ranging from R&B and yacht rock to funk, pop and more, Donkin has crafted an insightful coming-of-age self-portrait. In that Billboard feature, the 23-year-old recently spoke about the making of Welcome Home and his musical journey to date. Fans can listen to the new album digitally and on vinyl via Bandcamp.

To date, Welcome Home has already garnered praise from Wonderland, FLOOD Magazine, Our Culture Magazine, The Luna Collective, Lucid Monday, KCRW and BBC Radio 6, along with support from Spotify’s New Music Friday, Fresh Finds R&B and POLLEN playlists, plus more. Written and recorded in a series of bedroom studios in England and France, Donkin’s self-produced debut LP showcases his stunning mix of instrumental virtuosity and emotional intuition, blending highly sophisticated melodic and harmonic craftsmanship with deeply moving lyrical explorations of longing, desire, and determination.

The songs here draw on R&B/soul (“Whenever,” “Tell Me Something,” “Nothing We Can’t Get Through”), funk (“Something Different”), yacht rock (“Falling For You”), hip-hop, jazz, and even bossa nova, hinting at times to everything from Michael Jackson and Bill Evans to George Benson and Jamiroquai. For more insight into Donkin’s inspirational palette, fans can check out his hand-curated “lifted” Spotify playlist, which features eclectic musical references such as The Isley Brothers, Bill Withers, Genesis, Erykah Badu, Pharoah Sanders, TOTO, and more.

Donkin’s performances on Welcome Home find him layering up instrument after instrument in the best one-man-band tradition of Prince or Stevie Wonder. The end result is a moving work that’s equal parts brain and brawn, a masterful debut from a young artist discovering himself — and his sound — one song at a time.

Born with perfect pitch, Gareth Donkin was already fanatically obsessed with both jazz piano and drums before he turned 12. By the time he headed to the Leeds Conservatoire to pursue a degree in music production, he was already writing and recording his own material at home. Donkin’s first single, “Catharsis,” has racked up more than 1,000,000 streams to date on Spotify, and a series of subsequent releases found similarly organic success including this spring’s groovy, synth-filled “GEEK OUT!” (ft. quickly, quickly and The Breathing Experiment). Gareth will be playing a record release show in London at Colours Hoxton on August 31, his first headlining performance in two years – tickets are on sale here.

Welcome Home Tracklist
1. Till The End of Time (Night Sky)
2. Something Different
3. Whenever
4. Nothing We Can’t Get Through
5. By Your Side
6. Falling For You
7. Don’t Turn the Music Down (ft. Jus Lovehall)
8. Tell Me Something
9. Looking For Me
10. De La Soul

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