Tanya Donelly founded Throwing Muses. And also The Breeders. And also Belly. So she certainly knows what she is doing when it comes to left-of-the-mainstream songwriting. Most of the contents of Swan Song Series were previously released as digital EPs: now they are gathered together in this attractive 3CD / 3LP set. On American Laundromat.
9/10 The Doc Customer review, 29th September 2016
Tanya Donnelly's credentials are pretty much unimpeachable. She was a founder member of Throwing Muses, passed through the Breeders and also fronted Belly, one of the best guitar pop acts of the 1990s. Since then she's slowed down a little; her first two solo records - Love Songs For Underdogs and Beautysleep - were patchy, loads of filler padded around the odd great track, and for a brief time it felt like she'd almost forgotten what it was she used to do so well.
It didn't last though - her next two records, Whiskeytangoghosts and This Hungry Life, mined a beautiful seam of whiskey-sodden Americana, country-tinged acoustics ahoy, and were among the best things she'd ever done. And then she just kinda disappeared, before popping up on Bandcamp talking about how she wanted to make a graceful exit from the music industry and how she was going to do that by releasing a load of download only EPs and then fading away. Which brings us nicely onto this absolutely marvellous set, which packages all those recordings into one beautiful box. There's so much good stuff on here that it's almost untrue - heartbroken acoustics and piano ballads predominating, but there's some electro stuff and a couple of balls-out rockers to boot. Her voice has aged like a fine wine, softer and warmer than ever before, and the vocals throughout are every bit as gorgeous as you'd expect from a lady who's been one of the best in the business for decades. The lyrics are fantastic too - among the best she's ever written - which is some feat when you consider how long she's been playing this game.
It's one for the fire and the long autumn nights, totally delicious, to be treasured for ever and ever and ever. Best thing I've bought all year.
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- Swan Song Series by Tanya Donelly
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