“A natural storyteller and reflective lyricist” Maverick Magazine
Edd Donovan is a highly distinctive singer and songwriter with a rare, original talent. His sound is heartfelt – comforting, yet challenging – wise. Originally from Merseyside, he has made his home in Gloucestershire.
He’s a folk songwriter in the most contemporary sense. He creates songs that tell stories of modern life, whilst weaving meaning and magic with glorious melodies. Songs that are “Political, poignant....profound” Americana, UK.
His song 'I Am' was selected by renowned singer-songwriter Reg Meuross for the Radio 2 Folk Show playlist in 2018.
His critically acclaimed début album, Something To Take The Edge Off, was released in April 2014. The album garnered high praise in the press and radio.
Edd’s professional experience as a Social Worker has inspired a number of his songs (he continues to work as a Mental Health Social Worker) and The Guardian’s article on Edd “The Singing Social Worker” gained his songwriting international attention.
The first single from the album 'House On Fire' was inspired by Andrea Ashworth's memoir, 'Once In A House On Fire'. It became the signature tune of the album and is 'a remarkable complex analysis of a child's experience of domestic violence' R2. On the back of the album, Edd embarked on a hugely successful, extensive UK tour; both solo and with his band, The Wandering Moles.
Edd released his second album, Making Mountains (Vol. 1), in June 2016 . It's rooted in Indie Folk and Americana whilst still drawing on a broad spectrum of influences. A remarkable piece of originality; a collection of thought provoking, (sometimes) challenging, yet beautiful songs that shine a light on modern life.
Tracks from both of these releases been played on BBC6 Music, Radio 2 Folk Show, various BBC folk shows, Baylen Leonard's Front Porchshow, BBC Introducing and many folk and Americana radio shows internationally.
Edd's third studio album, 'Guardians Of Our Time, was released in December 2020. It was recorded at Edd’s home throughout 2018 and 2019 and is a marked contrast to the full band sound and production of his last album ‘Making Mountains Vol 1’ (2016). Edd has self produced using mostly what he can create with his voice, guitar and keyboards (even iPhone recordings).
There is a subtle influence of the more experimental albums that Edd was inspired by during this period, such as Sufjan Stevens’ ‘Carrie and Lowell’, John Southworth’s ‘Niagara’ and Father John Misty’s ‘Pure Comedy’.
It also features Chris Cundy (Timbre Timber/Cold Specks)on Bass Clarinet and Emma Parker on Harmony Vocals. The result is something intimate, experimental, sublime; a beautiful soundscape with Edd’s trademark socio-political lyrics and meticulous imagery taking centre stage. The driving theme through this album is very current. It fundamentally addresses the need for change, personally and collectively, in the face of environmental and political crisis.
‘Guardians Of Our Time’ is the title track of the album. A rallying call, a celebratory protest song where ‘young hearts, young minds bring the revolution to life'. Edd’s professional experience also continues to influence his songwriting, ‘Eva’, is an intensely moving tribute to a dementia sufferer.
He also ventures into more surrealist concepts; an ethereal road trip through aspects of hope ('Whatever It Is'), death ('Folk Man Blues) and rebirth('Butterfly'). 'Meeting's Adjourned' covers political paralysis. On a lighter note, 'Tweedy's Song' is about a local clown!
"Guardians Of Our Time’ is an essential folk and contemporary songwriter album for the modern world.... a modern-day folk song for people with a taste for beauty, adventure, nature and wonder. His best album yet" Folk Radio UK
"I love the sound on it as well as the quality of the songwriting. Excellent stuff!" BBC Radio Merseyside
"Hearing Bowerbird or Eva and Seen By The Road evoked memories of hearing Seth Lakeman or John Martyn for the very first time; such is the way Donovan makes a complex story and chord progression sound very easy on the ear, while still bamboozling the brain" Rocking Magpie
"He is writing some of the most creative and thought-provoking material on the folk scene" Shire Folk.
Edd has opened for various contemporary folk songwriters and Americana artists including Ralph McTell, Scott Matthews, Reg Meuross, Boo Hewerdine, Eliza Carthy, Devon Sproule, John Smith, Charlie Dore, Megan Henwood, John Southworth, Micah P. Hinson. He has played festival stages, as a solo artist and everything through to full band shows, including Bristol Folk Festival, Wychwood Festival, Gate to Southwell Festival, Green Gathering, Purbeck Valley Folk Festival, Blissfields, Altitude VF.
He is currently touring as a trio with Chris Cundy (Timber Timbre/Cold Specks) on bass clarinet "Like a birdsong interrupting an argument" - Los Angeles Times and Emma Parker on harmony vocals "Like a transmission straight from heaven" Folk Radio Uk
What the press say
"Putting on this album is like stepping into the wonderful world inside Edd Donovan’s head; that he captures this on tape is some achievement. It’s a rare gift that an artist can build their own distinct, recognisable sonic environment" Folk Radio UK
"A hugely talented, original songwriter" Folk And Tumble.
“A wonderful example of what modern folk music can be…gloriously different” Folk All
"This album showcases his talent for producing engaging and amiable songs" R2
“Genuinely beautiful…..intelligent and thought provoking” Shire Folk
“A natural storyteller and reflective lyricist” Maverick Magazine
“Poignant…powerful….reminds me of I Am Kloot’s John Bramwell” Americana UK
"Summery alt-country to gladden the heart" - Tom Robinson, 6Music.
"Like a poem with each statement let go like a mantra sent out to give people time to reflect, meditate and digest the profundity of what he is saying" Folk All
"In a time of deep uncertainty, while we watch politicians jockeying for position and personal gain, Edd Donovan is our conscience" Americana UK
"An artist with old school authenticity" Folk Phenomena
What other artists say
“‘Edd Donovan isn’t famous. But with songs like this, he should be” Reg Meuross (on BBC Radio 2 Folk Playlist)
"Immensely inspiring...the more people who can hear his voice and words, the better" Dr Andrea Ashworth, author of 'Once In A House On Fire'.
"I love Edd’s music - he’s terrific" - Charlie Dore
What the audience say
"A lyrical alchemist, his songs weave happiness and sadness together into something new and very vital.
I haven’t recognised anyone as a voice for ‘my generation ‘ since Pulp in the 90s."
Jennifer Beeston, audience member from 'Live at Postlip Hall'
"The best performance of the festival" - UK Festivals Guide, Wychwood 2016
"Those lucky people witnessed an act who currently does not have the stature his awesome talent deserves" Folk Radio UK
"Tell all your friends as the marvellous Moles are surely something for sharing" Folk Radio UK - Debut album launch at Green Note, London