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Premiere: Conor Donohue – “Feel That Hit” (Video)

Indie rocker Conor Donohue comes from a rare breed of Charlestonians — those who have the distinction of playing at the iconic Royal American the year it opened, in 2011. Donohue moved away in 2015, and is currently based in New Orleans, but he still maintains deep ties to the city of Charleston. When it came time to record his upcoming album, Stray Dogs, there was nowhere else he’d rather be.

Stray Dogs was produced by Joel Hamilton & Emily Eck, and features renowned Charleston musicians Ron Wiltrout, George Baerreis, and Tyler Ross. This crew will also back up Conor during his return to the Royal American this Sunday, May 12th, with additional support from Lindsay Holler on vocals.

This morning, Extra Chill is excited to premiere the video for the debut single off Stray Dogs, “Feel That Hit,” along with some insight on the album and video from Conor. “Feel That Hit” is an upbeat, psych-beach rock song about trying to get yourself out of a funk, various ways, but nothing works until the doctor “takes out his bag and breaks me off a little sunshine.”

Watch the video for “Feel That Hit” below, shot in Biloxi, MS, and read on for our full Q&A about the video and the making of Stray Dogs with a cast of Charleston’s finest.

Conor Donohue – “Feel That Hit” (Video)

Live @ The Royal American – 5/12/24

Conor will be joined by Ryan Bonner & The Dearly Beloved + Fantasy Non-Fiction at The Royal American on Sunday, May 12th.

Q&A with Conor Donohue

On the “Feel That Hit” Video

CHUBES:

DONOHUE: We shot the video in Biloxi in October. I went to Margaritaviile there in August with my girlfriend and a few friends and we had a blast. I figured it would be a fun place to spend a day goofing off and getting footage. Connor Reever (director) had this old JVC camera that we filmed on. Half of the stuff we planned to do we couldn’t because it was the off season and most things were closed. We still made the best of it!

On His Charleston Connection

Photo by @katkimballphoto

CHUBES: How did you link up with Joel, Emily, and the Charleston musicians who played on the record?

DONOHUE: I lived in Charleston from 2006-2015 and have recorded all of my records there. I met Joel in 2010. I loved his record “Feels Like We’re Gonna Win” which he put out around that time and asked him to produce my first record. There’s no other artist I know like Joel. He’s bursting with creativity, has an insane ear, and is one of the funniest people I know. I’m constantly inspired by his music.

DONOHUE: I met Emily through my girlfriend and we had been friends for a few years before we started working together. I asked her to give a crack at mixing a song of mine and loved her work so much I asked her to mix and co-produce the whole record. She’s one of the hardest workers I’ve ever met, while also being incredibly kind and patient. Anything I wanted to explore she was down for spending countless hours going down different rabbit holes. We mixed the record in four different studios, which is kind of insane, and she knocked it out of the park.

DONOHUE: Ron, George, Tyler, and Lindsay were all people I admired around the Charleston scene when I was in my early twenties (I still very much do). When I asked them to be a part of my project they were all stoked on the material and we’ve been playing together for over a decade now. I feel so lucky every time I get on a stage with them.

On Stray Dogs & Genreless Music

Photo by @katkimballphoto

CHUBES: First album in 5 years. How have you changed / grown as an artist since Let Love Contaminate

DONOHUE: In 2020/2021 when I was writing this record I had a lot more time on my hands, so I was able to sit and write a lot of bad material until the good stuff came around. If I had a hook I really liked I’d be able to try out different approaches until something felt right. I really appreciate and admire people who write quickly, but I’m someone who needs to let things simmer a bit. Try different melodies for a couple hours, then it usually finds you while doing dishes, going for a walk, or taking a shower. 

DONOHUE: Joel’s an amazing producer because he can find really unique arrangements for songs that I couldn’t even dream of. For a couple of songs he sent me beats that we built up from remotely. For the songs we did with the band, some of them came very organically while others we bounced around ideas until we found one we were all excited about.  

CHUBES: I noticed that there are a lot of different styles of rock and folk music on this album. You’ve got your classic “dive bar” rock songs, then you have groovier layered synths and electronic sounds, and even some more nuanced and moody modern rock a la The National. 

CHUBES: That is a lead up to my question about genre. I have seen a trend in underground/independent music towards a “genre-less” direction. Where you may hear multiple different genres represented on an album, or even within one song. What do you think about the concept of genre and how it relates with your music? 

DONOHUE: The genre-less sound of the record wasn’t really intentional, it happened out of finding what served each song. Music can feel really stale if it seems like you’re playing the same song over and over. 

Photo by @katkimballphoto

See Conor Donohue’s website at conordonohue.com and follow his Instagram at @conordonohuemusic.