Music » CD Reviews

Giant Skyflower Band

Blood of the Sunworm (Soft Abuse)


Glenn Donaldson seems less a musician and more a medium plucking hazy visions from pop's collective memory. Of course, surfaces can be deceiving. With projects like the Ivytree and the Skygreen Leopards, it's really the singer-songwriter's sly but meticulous craftsmanship tricking fans into believing he's like that.

However, on Blood of the Sunworm, the debut from the Giant Skyflower Band -- Donaldson's latest outfit -- the dude sounds not only like a psychic hobo from Bolinas, but also a weary toker strung out on twee pop, British folk-rock, and David Crosby's burnout classic If Only I Could Remember My Name. There's not a single composition among Sunworm's 10 tracks -- just the barest of sketches and the acute feeling that Donaldson and partner Shayde Sartin did nothing more than record a stoned jam session, where the two Californians messed around with a room full of exotic instruments. Add to this Donaldson's severely slurred falsetto -- which is gorgeous, no matter what -- and Sunworm becomes his most ungraspable pop record to date.

But give it time; a wistful introspection eventually emerges, along with a handful of diamond-encrusted melodies and one or two luminescent ragas.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.