VOL.1 OF THE SWAN SONG SERIES, A COLLECTION OF EPs FROM TANYA DONELLY (EX-MEMBER OF THROWING MUSES, BREEDERS AND BELLY), IS RELEASED THIS WEEK. IT MARKS HER FIRST NEW SOLO MATERIAL IN SEVEN YEARS.
VOL.1 (available here) consists of five songs with thematic connective tissue: windows, streets, stars, flashbacks, escape… “Clearly, I need to get out more…” quips Donelly.
Co-written with Dean Fisher (Juliana Hatfield Three) – with whom she has created many songs and two daughters – VOL.1’s quirkily euphoric lead track MASS AVE (“Aren’t you tired of puzzles? Aren’t you ready for the window to open?”) recalls the off-kilter acoustic skitter of GOAT GIRL, from Donelly’s 1997 debut solo album LOVESONGS FOR UNDERDOGS, and the country-tinges of WHISKEY TANGO GHOSTS (2004).
The EP also features CHRISTOPHER STREET (with Wesley Stace, aka John Wesley Harding); 60s-tinged pop in BLAME THE MUSE; and the low-key sparseness of apocalyptic love-song LET FALL THE SKY. VOL.1’s spectral closer METEOR SHOWER was co-written with Rick Moody, author of acerbic 1994 novel THE ICE STORM (later a film starring Sigourney Weaver, directed by Ang Lee). Donelly describes the song’s life-affirming wonder-of-the-world message: “The simple act of looking up – put your device down now – is an instant recalibrator…”
Other collaborators throughout the remaining releases in THE SWAN SONG SERIES include Bill Janovitz (Buffalo Tom), Michael Hearst (One Ring Zero), Claudia Gonson (Magnetic Fields), Brian Sullivan (Dylan In The Movies), author Mary Gaitskill, jazzers Joe McMahon and David Brophy, Kraig Jordan (The Masons), Manolis Famellos, Carrie Bradley (Breeders), Sam Davol (Magnetic Fields), Jacob Valenzuela (Calexico), David Narcizo (Throwing Muses), The English UK, Anthony Saffrey (Cornershop), Chris Toppin and Hilken Mancini (Fuzzy).
VOL.2 is due in September, VOL.3 in October. A video has been filmed for MASS AVE (below).