18 Jun 2024

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Donald Reid


Singer/songwriter, Donald Reid's first solo album In A Taxi Home. Co-produced with his brother James Reid (The Feelers) and recorded independently in Auckland, In A Taxi Home is a selection of songs from Reid's reservoir of over 200 original works.

Playing on the album is Bones Hillman (Midnight Oil, bass), Mike Franklin-Brown (Pluto, drums), Bryan Bell (Dead Flowers, piano), Georgina Cooper (APO, cello), James and Donald Reid.

The tracks were mixed by Chris van de Geer (Stellar*) and Luke Tomes, and mastered by Neil Baldock.

Donald often writes with his brother James and co-wrote two singles on the latest Feelers album Playground Battle, namely Weapons of War and Fallout Shelter. Donald also co-wrote two tracks on The Feelers previous album Communicate, being The Web and Communicate (the title track of the number one album of 2002) for which he was nominated Best Songwriter of the Year 2002.

The album is in Reid’s own words “a reaction to the manufactured boy band”. Reid’s music maintains artistic integrity while fitting in to a commercial genre. The songs were chosen for their purity of form, revealing thoughtful and emotionally charged lyrics. As all songs were primarily written on acoustic guitar they translate well live with full band or as a solo performance.

“A lot of my songs end up being twisted love songs” says Reid. “For some reason that is just the way they come out… I guess the love song part gives a platform for people to understand the songs from, then the twisted bits make them more interesting”.

Inspired by artists such as Powderfinger, James Taylor, The Stone Roses, and U2, Reid draws on a deep family musical background.

The songs In A Taxi Home, Crashing Down and Time To Go show Reid’s mellower and more introspective side, while No Ordinary Day, All The Advice and How The Heart Works are more upbeat. Suicidal Friend has Reid’s vocals upfront washing over a basic beat demonstrating the beauty of the song through simplicity.

For Reid, composing music is a natural part of him. He has been writing and playing music since a child giving the songs a strong power of imagination. He likens his songs to a story told, bringing at least three entities together to carry out a role play. The ideas for his song writing come from living a diverse life. When playing live Reid will often write new material on the spot.

"I find it a challenge that means the ideas have to come out immediately, so there is no time for self-consciousness or editing… sometimes what comes out is great, other times it’s profoundly pathetic or cheesy."

Reid grew up in Christchurch, in a family of 5 children. His passion for music can be attributed to both nature and nurture. His parents and 4 siblings all play a diverse range of instruments and guitars and singing were commonplace sounds at family parties. Reid also nurtured his own ability and passionate love for music. Starting with yukele lessons at the age 7, followed by the banjo (one he is not so proud of this following the movie Deliverance) and piano lessons, Reid taught himself, at age 10, how to play the guitar by reading chord charts and watching his father and two sisters play.

At 13 years old, Reid started writing music. His first song Find It All, an epic inspired by the Christiana F movie, shows his depth of thought even as a young boy. A year later he formed a band with 2 school friends, known as Written In Red. The band’s song Different Touch written by Reid, won respect in music circles through New Zealand and gave the young band an opportunity to record their first album Non Toxic. Containing 10 original works, the album was inspired by the then current trend for British Pop with a Stone Roses style.


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