Whimsy country rock.
Across the pandemic and lockdown, Tanya Donelly has been a tower of musical strength. At first, she released her Sunday Series, which were weekly covers of many famous rock and folk songs. This collection of songs, including a cute version of ‘Dream A Little Dream of Me’, is rounded off with the release of ‘Big Love Bends Time’. It is an EP of three covers and alongside a new song and marks a collaborative release with Gail Greenwood.
The original title track will initially be the main draw and it is a sumptuous and meandering vista of brushed percussion, keyboards, wild west guitars. Those guitars permeate Tanya’s entire career and they sound great when paired into something more dreamy. It’s like a slow-motion gun-show. The three covers are ‘Frozen Lake’ (Buffalo Tom), ‘Swim’ (Madder Rose) and ‘Sweet Ghost of Light’ (Robyn Hitchcock) and they each have a guest vocalist too. ‘Frozen Lake’ is an upbeat and freebird acoustic number where Tanya goes full country folk alongside Bill Janovitz – whose vocals provide the bass depth for the mix. ‘Swim’ is more of a pub chugger to wave your arms to and smile with a pint. The real gem for me personally is the beautiful ‘Sweet Ghost of Light’ which is vulnerably delivered by Tanya’s higher register as the vocals and brushed drums twinkle behind it all. Gail Greenwood provides an echoing ‘aah’ quietly in the background too – making it a little more ethereal.
This, combined with the Sunday Series, is an excellent collection of tracks to keep you happy in the country folk and country-rock space. Tanya Donelly is clearly enjoying making music with a large circle of other people but everything she does still feels very ‘TD’. Be that her strong and emotive voice, her cowboy showdown guitars or her writing style – you know you’ve got some classic vibes every time.
Recommended track: Sweet Ghost of Light
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