On October 27th, we will get the undeniable pleasure of welcoming Pittsburgh-based pop/rock collective Donora‘s fourth full-length Sun To Me into the world. The trio’s most recent single – a light, fresh track titled “This Heart” – gives us a sneak peek into what’s to come, but we wanted to know more. So we sat down with the band to learn the ins and outs, while begging the important questions… like how do you get along with your sibling in a creative and professional environment?

Clearly, it’s something we have yet to master.

What is the first album/song you remember hearing, and who introduced it to you?

The first album I bought with my own money was the Lion King Soundtrack (not sure if that one counts).  Around the same time my brother bought me the (What’s the Story) Morning Glory album by Oasis for my birthday.  I think he bought it for me so that he could steal it and listen to it himself, but I ended up loving that album and still do!  I wouldn’t let him have it.

Casey and Jake… As siblings, do you two get along, or are there kerfuffles? What’s the dynamic like?

We definitely get along!  Jake is 5 years older than me, so there has never been that competitiveness or clashing that sometimes happens when siblings are closer in age.  In fact, we weren’t all that close growing up (I think I was just his annoying little sister for a long time).  But when we started playing music together that all changed.  We’re pretty good at acknowledging each other’s strengths and our own weaknesses.  Since we grew up in the same home, I think we also have a very similar style of communication, which helps keep us on the same page most of the time.  Sure there’s the occasional kerfuffle, but at the end of the day we’re family.

“Sun To Me” feels like the track at the end of an inspiring movie, begging its audience to leave with light hearts and chase their dreams. How do you imagine people listening to it? I hope people indulge in this song Risky Business style.  Music cranked, comfy clothes (i.e. pants off), dancing around their house, lip synching (or better yet singing along at the top of their lungs), just doing them.  One person dance parties are the best.

What inspired that track, specifically?

Well this one started out as a love song.  It’s about someone being a source of light in your life. But while we were recording this song, I was pregnant.  I now have a 10 month old daughter and so this song takes on a slightly different meaning for me because of that.  Actually, a lot of the songs on the album mean something different to me now than they did when we were first writing them.

 You have admitted your fourth album is about love and the light music can bring to your life. We’ve certainly struggled with darker times lately, and were wondering what your go-to tracks have been in the past to keep your chin up?
One song that can always brighten my mood is The Cure’s “Friday I’m In Love”. There’s something about that song that always just makes me feel happy.What is your favorite track off the upcoming release? Any particular reason?

“So Simple” is one of the ones that changed meanings drastically for me throughout this process. It started as a song about the joy a simple smile can bring to your life.  Then it morphed into a love song.  Then while we were recording the vocals, I was 8 months pregnant and feeling my baby move, so I couldn’t help but imagine what it would be like when my child smiled at me.  I can say now that it truly is extraordinary! I guess that’s why it’s my favorite on the album.

If you could collaborate with any artist on any medium, who would you choose and what would you create?

I would love to make a movie with Paul Thomas Anderson.  I have always been fascinated with the story of his collaboration with Aimee Mann for Magnolia.  We’ve done a little bit of film work in the past, and it has been so much fun.  Trying to create the perfect mood for a specific scene is such a rewarding challenge!

What are you most excited about with the upcoming release of Sun To Me?

I’m just excited for people to finally hear it.  We’ve been working on it for a long time so it will feel good to actually put it out there!

Anything else you’d like to add?

I think it’s important to be vocal about what you believe in and to stay engaged.  But I also think it’s important to give yourself a break and forget about it all every once in a while.  We hope this album can help provide that necessary escape!


Get that necessary escape on October 27th, when Sun To Me drops. It is available for preorder now. Keep up with Donora here.