Tanya Donelly - <em>Legal Music Download</em> ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Tanya Donelly - Legal Music Download

Tanya DonnellyWho says that you can't go home again? When I lived in DC, Belly was one of the staples on WHFS during the mid-90s. I hadn't heard anything from Donnelly after 1997's Lovesongs for Underdogs and had (incorrectly) assumed that she had left the music business.

I just ran across Donnelly's website and she has some great mp3s posted for downloading (please notice and use the 'tip jar' on the site). I downloaded the 10-track Star demos (which became Belly's first CD) and have had them playing on my iPod non-stop. Very simply - this is a "must have"! This is Tanya playing mostly by herself and the songs take on different arrangements than what ended up on the final CD. It is fascinating to hear these work-in-progress demos.

Here are Tanya's comments on these demos (as posted on her website):

A mere 16 years later, here are the demos for Star (Belly's first), recorded with Joe Harvard at Fort Apache. (Thank you, Ivo, for having the original mixes on cd so I didn't have to mess with the tapes.) They were originally meant to be the second Breeders album, so Kim plays on a couple. She plays the high solo on White Belly and the counter-lead stuff on Feed the Tree. That's what I recall.

White Belly was co-written with Fred Abong, but for some reason he didn't play on it. I think possibly because it was intended for the Breeders, and we weren't planning to start a post-Muses band together at that time. It wasn't long after these demos were recorded that I decided to start my own thing and form Belly, and Fred came along. To be honest, I'm very fuzzy on my own chronology and some details.

Some of the vocals are oddly low -- I think that was my taste at the time, which is too bad. And I was very self-conscious about my voice, sometimes justifiably. And it is all extremely spare, mostly just electric guitar and vocal. But I think in general, these are pretty good, and at least interesting if you liked Star.

Re: Slow Dog -- Mariah Carey hadn't surfaced yet when I wrote this song. This is a very old song that I sat on for a while. The first time I heard her name was when a couple of the Pavement guys (who got the demo from someone who worked at 4ad at the time) said they liked the song I wrote about Mariah Carey. So Mariah became Maria. I always missed Mariah.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy these demos. I'm taking my sister's lead (copying her, in fact) and leaving a virtual tip jar. I'm also planning on putting up an additional live Windham set of mostly old songs that we did on one of the Hungry Life nights. Hopefully in a few months, a song or two at a time. That will be fun.