Duncan Nielsen has sported the moniker ‘DONCAT’ since 2013. Since then he’s lived in a vista-abundant neighborhood in San Francisco, CA, just south of Haight-Ashbury. From almost anywhere in his house the eye can reach the eastern edge of the city, as well as downtown. On most days, just on the shoulders of the hill behind the house, fingers of heavy fog quietly creep in. While most would consider the view an inspiration, Nielsen finds it to be a distraction. He focuses his sights inward.
“The view is nice for coffee in the morning, and taking breaks, it’s a breath of fresh air. But when I’m focusing on the mood of a song, externalities distort that focus. Writing music is more of an internal and reflective process, more like scuba diving than sky diving.”
Nielsen’s youth both informs and structures his inward-facing songwriting process. As a teen, he spent the lion’s share of his time channeling classic rock and folk. In junior-high, he gifted Led Zeppelin I at a birthday party and was ostracized. By the time he entered high school, he found himself as the token kid-with-a-guitar: loved by all and known by none. This bolstered his penchant for writing iconoclastic songs, as well as skipping high school to surf alone.
These days, Nielsen moves from his grandmother’s Wurlitzer piano to his father’s hand-me-down acoustic guitar writing songs at home. He prefers not to look out the window.
To date, Nielsen’s songs have been featured in many network television series and independent films. He’s opened shows for The Walkmen’s Hamilton Leithauser, Hayden, and Chuck Ragan. While he’s not writing and performing his own music, he tours with San Francisco-based band, Geographer, as a guitarist, keyboard player and backup vocalist. His newest EP 'Kind of Love' is now available everywhere.
Opened for Julia Holter for Noise Pop Music Fest 2017, SF
Opened for Hamilton Leithauser for Noise Pop Music Fest 2016, SF
Opened for Chuck Ragan at Hotel Cafe, LA
Opened for Hayden at Cafe Du Nord, SF
Has done several national tours as member of Geographer
- Has written songs placed in ABC’s Nashville, DirecTV’s Kingdom, Freeform’s Stitchers, Lifetime original movie Squatters, and Independent film Through The Rye.
- CLASH - "LA in '83" Music Video Premiere
- The Bay Bridged - "Kind of Love" EP Feature
- Do The Bay - "Easy Cowboy" Album Premiere
- KQED Mixtape: Standout Bay Area Singer
- RIFF Magazine – "Easy Cowboy" Interview
- Another Dying Artform - "Take A Break" Song Feature
- Bitter Sweet Symphonies – “Western” Song Feature
- Remy’s Music and Film – “Western” Song Feature
- Sawdust and Gin – “Western” Song Feature
- Impose – “Western” Song Feature
- Nooga – “Untrue” Song Review
- Casablanca Sunset – June Inbox Playlist
- Impose Magazine – “Week in Pop”
- Free Bike Valet – “Untrue” Single Premiere
- NME – New Music Feature
- The Bay Bridged – Mixtape: Singer-Songwriter Spotlight
- Three Beams – “Ride On” Feature
- Ear Buddy – Singles Buffet for ‘Ride On’