With Belly gearing up for a new tour and releases (Yay!) It seemed a good point to cover the hugely talented and hugely underrated Tanya Donelly.
If you don’t mind, I’m going cover this from my viewpoint and start with the release of Gepetto
Which grabbed me with the vocals , which were both country-esque and poppy, and the driving guitars and bass.
Straight away, this was a band I wanted more of. Brilliantly, as it turned out, there was a lot more where that came from. Certainly as far as Ms Donelly went. (Yes, I was ignorant enough that this was the first I’d heard of Throwing Muses)
She had founded Throwing Muses with her stepsister Kristin Hersh at just 15 and they became the first American act signed to 4AD. Donelly played on three albums with Throwing Muses, writing as she put it, songs with “More traditional songwriting sensibilities”
In 1990, she began working on a side project with Kim Deal of The Pixies. The Breeders first album Pod was named by Kurt Cobain as one of his favourite records ever.
( Watching bassist Gail Greenwood in that video, you can picture her rocking in L7- which after leaving Belly, she did.)
In the interval between Belly ending and starting her solo career she played with the UK band Catherine Wheel on the single ‘Judy Staring at the Sun’
Donelly’s first solo release , The ‘Sliding and Diving’ EP was released in October 1996 with the track ‘Bum’ later featuring on her first solo album ‘Lovesongs For Underdogs’
Her third album ‘Whisky Tango Ghosts’ was a more frail, acoustic affair and Donelly has described being down during the writing and recording due to” …a horrible war, a horrible administration”
As I’m worried I’m making this too long I’ll finish with what Donelly has produced as her ‘exit strategy’ the Swan Song series of EPs
(Again, overjoyed these aren’t the end and that more Belly is coming)
PS: Just got a message from The lady herself on facebook.(Wow!) I can exclusively reveal the title of her next ‘Swan Song’ release (Co-written with Tom Gorman of Belly) is ‘Send Me Your Next Nightmare’