Fri. Jul 12th, 2024

Most people can count on one hand how many love-every-song-and-never-press-the-skip-button albums they have bought. Like previews for movies, the one or two songs that drive people to buy an album are often the only good pieces of the pie.

But Donora’s self-titled debut album makes it feel like Thanksgiving. Donora satisfies almost everyone’s musical appetite with sweet, bubbly songs like “Shh” and “I Think I Like You” and spicy, feisty tracks such as “Weekend Tongue” and “Shak’ida.”

The choruses of the songs on the album are just “bubblegum pop” enough to be stuck in one’s head for days on end, but the guitar-driven beats and unique vocals alone give these artists absolute credibility and make up for the lack of lyrical greatness.

Along with most of the album, the beginning track, “Shout,” and the dance-inducing “Backbeat” contain hints of British-pop influence, while the reminiscent “Photograph” switches it up with its pleasing and reflective tones.

“The Chorus” is much like an upbeat version of Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up,” with a heavier piano sound and lighter vocals.

But the greatness of Donora is highlighted by the light-hearted, quirky “Saturday Night,” which leaves listeners with wide grins before ending on a soft note with the warm singer/songwriter track “London.”

Although the final track title and the British-pop sounds may lead listeners to assume otherwise, Donora is actually named after their hometown in Washington County, PA, about 20 miles south of Pittsburgh.

The band is a trio featuring vocalist and guitarist Casey Hanner, her brother Jake on drums, and bass player Jake Churton.

Their indie-pop/rock delicacies have been featured on the popular MTV shows “Cribs” and “True Life,” and they have performed with Grammy-nominated The Ting Tings.

Carol Fritz is a first-year student at West Chester University. She can be reached at

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