Boomkat Product Review:
Gaunt and macabre gallic songcraft of 20 year vintage, now surfacing from summer 1999 and uncannily primed for a world wracked by fear and angst. It's one of those records born in the wrong time but finding its place in the modern day, Donna’s eponymous LP of lo-fi and bedroom-scented post-punk/nouvelle vague styles uses thoughts and feelings for lyrical content in a way that speaks to timeless aspects of humanity in a very cracked shabby chic French style mixed with the cruddier tekkers of, say, Graham Lambkin.
“It is a collection of French songs composed from audio interviews of people around us, about their expectations, fears and aspirations in life for the next 20 years. Each song is about a milestone in what is commonly accepted as essential for a fulfilled life: making a living, having a house, being a parent, facing disease, old age and the loss of close relatives.
It was recorded on an 8-track tape recorder in Fred's bedroom. For this session the group is composed of Fred & Olivier on vocals, guitars and keyboards, with Emilie (Fred’s future wife) playing the flute, and Samuel adding heartbreaking layers of violins. The drum parts are loops of samples stolen from Fred’s brother’s rehearsals. The recording is embellished with various sound collages and audio hacks that made it one of the most sophisticated of the group so far, in comparison to the usual Donna lo-fi aesthetic. 20 years later, some may find it a bit outdated and with obvious references to what was called the “nouvelle scène Française” in the mid-90s ; but the purpose remains more valid than ever, and even takes on a particular dimension in the way it echoes our lives today.”