Posts Tagged ‘Tanya Donelly’

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Earlier this year, record label 4AD announced the long awaited release of The Breeders‘ fifth album ‘All Nerve’, out on 2nd March. It’s an album five years in the making, with work beginning after a string of shows to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their second album ‘Last Splash’. Since this is their first album release in 10 years, and marks the reunion of the ‘Last Splash’ lineup of Kim and Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs, and Jim MacPherson,

The Breeders‘ first four albums will be reissued on vinyl by 4AD next month. All of the Breeders’ previous albums  Pod, Last Splash, Title TK, and Mountain Battles – will be re-issued on vinyl on 18th May.

With their new album All Nerve released last month, The Breeders have now confirmed plans to reissue their first four albums on vinyl . The reissues will arrive via 4AD, with their debut Pod from 1990, 1993’s Last Splash, Title TK from 2002 and their last album before their extended hiatus, 2008’s Mountain Battles all the subject of the reissue plans.

The band will play a handful of shows in the UK and Ireland in late May folllowing the release of the reissues taking in dates in Belfast, Dublin, Edinburgh, Leeds and London, before returning for a further few shows in July.

The Breeders continue to tour their latest album All Nerve with further European dates announced for November.  The group will also play two shows before FYF Festival in July.  Currently on the road in North America,

Pod

Pod,

The 1990 debut featuring the line-up of Pixie’s Kim Deal, Throwing Muses’ Tanya Donelly, the Perfect Disaster’s Josephine Wiggs and Slint’s Britt Walford, was recorded by Steve Albini.  Kurt Cobain listed the record as one of his top three favourite albums saying, “the way they structure [the songs] is totally unique.”  Critically acclaimed when it came out, Pod’s legacy lives on It was “blissful mindfuck of a record,” and ranked it in their Best Albums of the 90s.

Back in 1989, and with tension mounting in the Pixies between Kim Deal and Black Francis, The Breeders‘ first demo’s were recorded between Kim and Throwing Muse‘s Tanya Donnelly after they met while touring together in their respective bands. This would lead to the release of debut album ‘Pod’ in 1990, an album which would receive critical acclaim from the music press. It’s rough, visceral, owing largely down to the simplistic production which allows the attitude with which the band play their instruments to carry through the record. No where is this more apparent than on the incredibly original interpretation of The Beatles‘ ‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’, a track injected with attitude here. The true strength of this album is in listening to it as a collective whole, as each song lends something to the experience. Their best was yet to come however…

Last Splash,

Recorded in 1993 by what is now regarded as the ‘classic’ Breeders line-up of Kim and Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs and Jim Macpherson.  Including the twisted pop singles ‘Cannonball’ and ‘Divine Hammer’, it has become one of the defining albums of the 90s.

What else? The Breeders‘ quintessential 1993 album ‘Last Splash’ followed on from the warped and jagged ‘Pod’ by throwing caution to the wind, producing an erratic, distorted, and yet intensely textured masterpiece of 90’s alt-rock. The results of their almost sarcastic jab at the crossover between chart success and the alt-rock/grunge movement landed Kim and the band with unexpected commercial success; ‘Last Splash’ would eventually go platinum in the United States, and lead single ‘Cannonball’ filled dance floor’s up and down the country. While ‘Cannonball’ is still their most recognisable song, ‘Last Splash’ delivers throughout, taking a number of detours along the way; ‘Invisible Man’, with it’s grinding, hazy guitar hooks and string arrangement; ‘Do You Love Me Now?’, with it’s brooding, chugging guitar in ode to feeling lovesick; and ‘Flipside’, a sub 2 minute instrumental blast of sheer joy, with a playful guitar line and copious amounts of cymbal smashing. ‘Last Splash’ presents The Breeders at their best; inventive, eccentric, effortlessly cool, and full of a vigour lost among the grunge crossover bands of the early 90’s.

Title Tk [Explicit]

Title TK

2002’s Title TK saw the band work with Steve Albini once more, with the Guardian saying it was “a welcome return to punky pop that knows how to flex some melodic muscle.”  The album has been out of print on vinyl since its release. Ending a 9 year hiatus, The Breeders came back in 2002 with ‘Title TK’, a tuneful yet melancholy and skeletal album at odds with their previous work. It drifts between different tones seemingly on a track by track basis, a little unsettled and unsure of itself, yet there are moments here of brooding which are reminiscent of early work by PJ Harvey; in the dark punk sounds of ‘Little Fury’ and ‘Son Of Three’, and in the soft ballad ‘Off You’.

On release, critics weren’t as enthralled with ‘Title TK’ as they had been with previous album ‘Last Splash’, lamenting the albums lack of creative flare and citing an unoriginal re-recording of ‘Full On Idle’ (originally recorded by Kim Deal’s other side project The Amps) as evidence of this. Retrospective listeners, however, have noted that ‘Title TK’ works more under the pretext of a concept album; a record about the absence of things, or about losing things and making do in order to move forward.

Mountain Battles

Fourth album Mountain Battles, a perfectly formed album of 13 miniatures in 36 minutes engineered by Steve Albini, was originally released in 2008.  Like Title TK before it, Mountain Battles has been out of print since its release.

Another gap followed the release of ‘Title TK’ before The Breeders were ready to release their most recent album ‘Mountain Battles’. With a more stable lineup this time around, ‘Mountain Battles’ sees progression from ‘Title TK’ in terms of attitude; it’s more optimistic, defiantly so, and finds the band willing to return to throwing in tracks from left field. ‘Istanbul’ is an understated eastern-style chant, while ‘Regalame Este Noche’ provides a hint of Spanish slow-dance to the proceedings. Although it takes a little time to warm up, ‘Mountain Battles’ is a largely successful return to the spiky, inventive sound The Breeder‘s had used so effectively during their earlier years.

All Nerve

All Nerve

The Breeders’ fifth studio album, saw the iconic line-up of Kim and Kelley Deal, Josephine Wiggs and Jim Macpherson reunite for the first time since the release of the platinum-selling album Last Splash. Released earlier this year, critics and fans welcomed them back with open arms and they scored their highest chart positions – including top 10 in the UK – in 25 years.

The Breeders - New European Tour Dates, Back Catalogue Vinyl Reissues

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Belly are set release their third record Dove, following a 23-year break from recording. Check out the first single, “Shiny One,” The album is due on May 4th.

Frontwoman Tanya Donelly, guitarist Tom Gorman, drummer Chris Gorman and bassist Gail Greenwood began this reunion back in the summer of 2016, playing a series of individual shows in the U.S. and the U.K. Donelly, who was in Throwing Muses and the Breeders prior to forming Belly in 1991, said they were thrilled to rekindle old musical friendships.

“The music I’ve been doing in the past several years has been very collaborative, which made me kind of homesick for Belly,” she told Rolling Stone. “I missed that sense of having a band.”

In fact, Belly are working more collaboratively than ever. These sessions began with band members sending snippets and demos of songs to one another through the mail. By the time Belly began work on “Shiny One,” they’d begun writing together as a group for the first time.

Gail wrote the riff and the chorus; Tom and I wrote the verse and bridge; Chris’s parts shaped the direction and vibe,” Donelly added. “When I hear it, I hear all four of us equally.” Gorman pulling triple duty, also recording and producing alongside Paul Q. KolderieBelly will embark on their first major tour since 1995,

Official audio for “Shiny One,” first single off Belly’s upcoming album ‘DOVE’ (out 5/4/18)

Belly was an rock band formed in 1991 by former Throwing Muses members Tanya Donelly (who was also in The Breeders) , joined forces with the Gorman brothers Thomas and Chris (on guitars and drums respectively) and bassist Fred Abong to launch Belly Star” was their debut album by this American alternative rock band Belly.

It was released in 1993 and was an unexpected success. With their jangling, over driven guitars and breathless, mysterious vocals, Belly suggests the hard/soft edge of electric girl groups and power pop bands like The Bangles.

Much of Star is like looking through the world from the otherside of the glass. From the ominous foreboding of “Low Red Moon” to the heady frenzy of “Slow Dog”, the whole thing drifts and jumps majestically. Marbled and distorted colours and sounds make new, hypnotic shapes. It’s the realm of dreams made into music.

The energy and infectious indie-pop hooks still have me dancing around the kitchen whenever it makes one of many outings. The guitar jangles are still as elastic and rawkus as ever and Tanya Donnelly’s otherworldly and haunting vocals still intoxicate me.  Using the trance like harmonies of dream pop as a foundation, Donelly expands the genre’s boundaries, trimming away its pretensions and incorporating a flair for sweet, concise pop hooks and folk-rock inflections. She also spikes her airy melodies with disarmingly disturbing lyrics. Images of betrayal and death float throughout the album, but what hits home initially — and what stays after the album is finished — are the hooks, whether it’s the rolling singalong of “Gepetto” the surging “Slow Dog,” the melancholy “Stay” .

Belly’s second single ‘Gepetto’ taken from their debut album ‘Star’ – featuring Tanya Donelly (formerly of Throwing Muses and The Breeders), Chris Gorman and Tom Gorman. Bass on the first Belly album comes from former Muses bassist Fred Abong, who was later replaced by Gail Greenwood.

Donelly named the band “Belly” because she thought the word was “both pretty and ugly.”Their EP, Slow Dust (1992), made it to number one on the UK indie chart. Soon after, their single “Feed the Tree” made the Top 40 in the UK Singles Chart and their first album, Star (1993), hit number two on the UK Albums Chart.
In the United States, the album was certified gold, largely based on the success of “Feed the Tree” played on Modern Rock radio stations and MTV, where the video was featured as part of MTV’s Buzz Bin videos and Alternative Nation video show for much of 1993. Two follow-up singles were released, “Gepetto” and “Slow Dog” but neither matched the initial success of “Feed the Tree.” Star was consequently nominated for two Grammys. The album went on to sell over 800,000 copies in the US alone and two million worldwide.[citation needed]
In the spring of 1993, they embarked on a US tour supported by Radiohead

Recorded Sound Emporium Studios, Nashville, Tennessee
Amazon Studios, Liverpool, England .

Star-Belly

With stints in Throwing Muses and The Breeders behind her, Tanya Donelly was more than ready to front her own alternative rock band, and Belly captured the spotlight even more firmly than those previous groups. Filled out by three musical cohorts from Donelly’s Rhode Island home base, Belly made an impressive debut with “STAR” the 1993 Sire set included a Modern Rock chart-topper in “Feed The Tree,” another MTV favorite in “Gepetto,” and brought the quartet two Grammy nominations. These 15 originals give indie dream pop plenty of appealing hooks – even if the album’s sweet-sounding vocals sometimes sing about rather strange stuff. Today we’ll wish upon a Star in honor of Tanya Donelly’s birthday.

Star was borne out of artistic restlessness, Donelly having blossomed as a songwriter in her first band, Throwing Muses, by the sessions for their fourth album The Real Ramona, becoming an equal to the band’s heretofore leader, and Donelly’s stepsister, Kristin Hersh.  Donelly came to the sessions with more than her requisite pair of songs, quickly realising elsewhere would be a better fit for the bulk of them rather than the latest Muses’ album.  Initially, that home was ostensibly The Breeders’ sophomore release:

“The songs I brought to The Real Ramona were the two that ended up on there (“Not Too Soon” and “Honeychain”), “Full Moon, Empty Heart,” “Slow Dog,” and “Gepetto” (all songs that would appear on Star).  This was around the time [the early quartet lineup of Throwing Muses] had started to dissolve so I thought, I’ll have the two on there and save the rest for The Breeders.  They had several home options for about six months there.”

In the time off between Throwing Muses albums at the turn of the 1990s, Donelly and Pixies guitarist Kim Deal collaborated on a new project, The Breeders, who released their debut Pod in 1990 largely consisting of Deal’s songs with the plan of the follow up featuring largely Donelly’s songs.  As luck would have it, that second Breeders album would become Belly’s first.

“Everything that is on Star was intended for the next Breeders album.  All the old reels I have in my basement of the demos are labeled The Breeders.  The Pixies had announced a year long, worldwide tour and Kim signed on for that.  I sort of got antsy, had already left the Muses and so I thought, I’m taking my songs and making my own band!”

In retrospect, with such a flurry of activity occurring in such a compact timeframe, the aesthetic groundwork for Star appears to have been laid in Donelly’s final pair of Muses tracks; the off-kilter, chipper pop of “Not To Soon” and the harrowing dreamlike beauty of “Honeychain” portending the two ends of Star’s spectrum.  Indeed, Donelly views the latter as forming “the bridge between my Muses and my Belly life.”

Star’s appeal is clear; its tone is impeccably balanced between oblique jangle-pop and moody dream-pop, tracks that individually would appear at odds with each other benefitting by this balance to achieve an unwitting congruity.

That said, with the exception of REM’s Automatic For The People, the upper echelon of the UK albums chart in and around February 1993 was continuously peppered with compilations of legacy pop acts with nary a blink at rising alternative acts until Suede’s debut would chart a couple months later, so how and why Star?  .

Indeed, few albums can as deftly move from the Eastern European flavours of “Angel” to “Gepetto”s jangly bounce, veering over to “White Belly”s gorgeous murk and back around to the countrified folk of “Untogether”.

While truthfully a rather sprawling album at 15 tracks over 51 minutes, Star plays small owing to its constant shift in tone reinvigorating the listener track to track.  “Dusted”s razor wire riff belongs chiseled on a Rushmore of indie rock hooks while there is nary a chorus as exuberant in the annals of indie rock as “Slow Dog”.

It’s Donelly’s unsuspecting vocal prowess that threads Star together as an album rather than a collection of songs.  Wafting vaporously into view on opener, “Someone To Die For”, she proceeds, throughout the album, to emit just enough grit and force to stay atop her band’s thunderous patches while reining back at precisely the opportune respite points.

Release date 25th January 1993

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The Swan Song Series is a collection of songs in which Tanya Donelly — grammy-nominated, singer-songwriter and founding member of three of the most influential and successful bands of the post-punk era (Breeders, Throwing Muses, Belly) — collaborated with friends, musicians and authors and explored an impressive range that wasn’t always captured on previous albums. This exclusive collection includes 31 tracks on an impressive 3 album set.

Tanya Donelly wows with this career-defining collection. Donelly — the grammy-nominated, singer-songwriter + founding member of the Breeders, Throwing Muses, and Belly — collaborated with friends, musicians and authors Rick Moody, Robyn Hitchcock, John Wesley Harding, Bill Janovitz (Buffalo Tom), Tom Gorman and Gail Greenwood (Belly), Claudia Gonson (Magnetic Fields) and others. This exclusive collection includes 31 songs across three albums.

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Tanya Donelly is a singer-songwriter and founding member of three of the most successful bands of the post-punk era.
At the age of 16, she and stepsister Kristin Hersh formed Throwing Muses, which became the first American band ever signed to the influential British label 4AD. Not only did the Muses‘ dreamy, swirling guitar sound prove highly influential on many of the alternative acts to emerge in their wake, but they also made any number of unprecedented advances into the male-dominated world of underground rock.

Donelly later sidelined with Pixies bassist Kim Deal to form the Breeders, appearing on the debut LP, Pod. She later exited both the Breeders and Throwing Muses to form her own band, Belly.
After issuing a pair of well-received EPs, Belly released their full-length debut, Star — a superb collection of luminous, fairy tale-like guitar pop songs — and for the first time in her career, Donelly earned commercial success commensurate to her usual critical accolades.

Not only did the record go gold on the strength of the hit single ‘Feed the Tree’ but the band even garnered a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. Donelly would eventually disband Belly to raise her two daughters.

*Special ACLU Benefit Bundle* A portion of all sales from this special bundle will be donated to the ACLU. The bundle includes the Swan Song Series on Vinyl + Say Yes! A Tribute to Elliott Smith on CD, featuring Tanya covering “Between The Bars.”