aka Sean James Donnelly, The Purple People Eater

We’re not exactly short of fine singer-songwriters in New Zealand, but Sean James Donnelly is the best example of a breed of songwriters who are just as at home with synthetic textures and subtly original structures as organic instrumentation and traditional song form.

Emerging from obscurity in the late 1990s as an idiosyncratic electronic artist, SJD (Sean James Donnelly) went on to confound his ardent fan base and staunchest critics by evolving into one of our finest songwriters, winning major awards along the way and becoming a trusted collaborator with first division legends Don McGlashan and Neil Finn.

The Witness
SJD - The Corner at Half-Five
Beautiful Haze
Bad Karma In Yokohama
I Wrote This Song For You
SJD, The Bads and Mulholland at The King's Arms, March 2014
SJD - Rising Falling Rising
Stinky Jim and SJD, 2007
Photo credit: Photo by Andrew Dubber
SJD - Superman You're Crying (from the album Southern Lights, 2004)
Inside SJD's West Auckland HQ
SJD - A Boy
SJD and Julia Deans in a 2017 promotional photo.
Cartoon Villains
Little Pieces (2015)
SJD with The Pajama Club
Photo credit: Photo by Jackson Perry
Make Love Ask Questions Later
Sean Donnelly at Auckland's Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, Lopdell House, Titirangi, 2015
Superman You're Crying (live at Radio NZ, July 2015)
Lava Lamp
Superman You're Crying - Radio New Zealand session (July 2015)
Sean Donnelly, 2011
Photo credit: Photo by Deborah Smith
Tree People
SJD - Miniatures 1
SJD - Southern Lights (Kid Loco Remix)
Making Music - SJD (2005)
SJD's Lost Soul Music from 2003
Saint John Divine, released in March 2015
SJD - I Wanna Be Foolish (2014, directed by Greg Page)
Baby You're Oh So

Sean James Donnelly - multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer, vocals, bass


Round Trip Mars


Donnelly’s Taite Music Prize win in April 2013 included a heavy trophy and $10,000 in cash.

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