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.

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

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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