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.

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

Round Trip Mars


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


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

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