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Curious Quail / Bio

Started in 2008 by singer/songwriter Mike Shirley Donnelly, Curious Quail began as a one- man DIY project mixing chiptunes, guitar driven rock and orchestral arrangements. Influenced heavily by the fuzzy alternative guitar sound of the 90's, and both retro and modern video game soundtracks, 2009's The GLOW Ep painted a picture of one man, his guitar and his technology.

Morphing into a 5-piece band over the course of the second release (2012's .:INSTANT GRATIFICATION:.) incorporating violin, female harmony vocals and orchestral percussion, Curious Quail's music has been described as a cross between The Smashing Pumpkins, The Postal Service and Modest Mouse. They have performed at LIVE 105's BFD, C2SV, Left Coast Live, subZERO Festival, 8BitLA's FREQUENCY and MAGFest's ROCKAGE alongside bands such as Of Monsters and Men, Silversun Pickups, 30 Seconds to Mars, OK Go, Neon Trees, Night Riots, Rin Tin Tiger, Tumbleweed Wanderers and Finish Ticket, as well as chiptune acts Slime Girls and MegaRan and are a mainstay of the San Francisco Sunday Streets program.

2014's AFTER THE LIGHTS FAILED (Produced by Jon Devoto of The Matches) was funded via a massively successful KickStarter campaign, listed as a Kickstarter "Staff Pick" for the duration of the project, the band's $6,000 goal was met in the first week and closed out over $10,000. It was released to critical acclaim, reaching NanoBot Rock's #2 spot in their "Top 10 Albums of 2014". Their music has received radio airplay on LIVE105, KSJS, KZSC, KFSR, WUPI and has been profiled by NPR Music, CMJ, The Bay Bridged and more.

General Info

Band Members
Mike Shirley-Donnelly, Joey Guthrie, Alan Chen, Erin Keely, Abe Myers
Artist Name
Curious Quail
Home Page
Active Since
Alternative / Orchestral Rock / Chiptune

Contact Info

San Jose, CA

Similar Artists

  • The Smashing Pumpkins
  • Modest Mouse
  • The National