Swan Song Series (Vol. 4)

by Tanya Donelly

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BeagleBay Another beautiful collection with beautiful lyrics and production, with 2 excellent bonuses...the Belly 'Star' demos and 'Old Brown Radio', the best song by a child I've ever heard. Favorite track: Salt.
Michael Reilly
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Michael Reilly Delicate and hypnotizing songs that highlight the strength of melody and polished songwriting over production effects and bombast. The extra demos are also great listening for any fans of Tanya's previous bands. Favorite track: Flying At Night.
Jon F Ellis
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Jon F Ellis Some of the best lyrics I've heard recently. Truly inspired music from my favorite songwriter. Favorite track: Salt.
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talk17 Love the lyrics, "But Faded has always been my favorite color anyway" Favorite track: Salt.
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Salt 05:11
Worry Doll 03:35
Cape Ann 04:10
Star (Demo) 02:21


painting Getting Over the Hurdle by Sue McNally (www.suemcnally.com)


This could be heard as a resignation, but it's not, even though I claim that "faded" is my favorite color. But really, it's just a singular letter written on a particular day in a specific mood to a certain person. Not a white flag, just a reminder that sometimes it hurts and we are lucky to have each other. Written with Bill Janovitz, my good friend and one of my very favorite musicians.

Worry Doll

This is the oldest song in the series, written to my daughters. The chorus is a homemade lullaby I sang to the littler one (Harriet) when she was a baby. A predictably maternal shortlist of broad suggestions: don't be afraid to be strong, try to live outside of clock and calendar (as least as much as a relatively sane life allows), choose your battles, get lost sometimes. Written with Dean, whose parental advice is a lot more practical.

Cape Ann

More salt, more sand, more sea. Enough already, right? I clearly have a problem or two. If the oceans were aware of me, I would definitely have received a no contact order by now. Like the one I got from the moon a few years back. Written with Michael Hearst, shanty man.

Flying at Night

Flying over cities at night never fails to break my heart. It is deeply moving to see all of our lights and patterns and plans from above, and all the dark spaces between. In love with everyone and everything up there, which is super dorky and sentimental, and in conflict with much of the reality on the ground. Written with Christopher Ewen of the fabulous Future Bible Heroes.

Old Brown Radio

Written, performed, and recorded by my daughter Gracie when she was 13. I'm including this because she's letting me, because it's a real thanks-giving song, and because I'm shamelessly nepotistic.

Star Demos, first batch.

These quiet, spidery things were recorded in a few hours 1000yrs ago at Ft. Apache, with Joe Harvard, and were meant to be on the 2nd Breeders album, while I was still in the Muses. Kim actually plays guitar on a couple of these, but I can't remember which! The tape reels say "breeders demos", and nothing else. I thought it would be nice to include these, seeing as it's the 20th anniversary (wtf!) of Star's release. Dedicated to Gail and Chris and Tom and Fred.


released November 22, 2013

Salt (Donelly/Janovitz)
TD -- vox
Bill Janovitz -- guitar
Sam Davol -- cello
Recorded by Scott Janovitz at Moontower Studio, Cambridge MA. Cello recorded by Paul Q. Kolderie at Mad Oak Studio, Allston MA. Mastered by Eric Masunaga at Modulus Studios, Boston MA

Worry Doll (Donelly/Fisher)

TD -- vox
Dean Fisher -- guitars
Sam Davol -- cello
Joseph McMahon -- bass and piano
David Brophy -- drums
Recorded by Christopher Cugini at Appleman Studio, Stoneham MA. Vocals and overdubs recorded by Paul Q. Kolderie and Adam Taylor at Mad Oak Studio, Allston MA Mixed by Paul Q. Kolderie at Mad Oak Studios, Allston MA. Mastered by Eric Masunaga at Modulus Studios, Boston MA

Cape Ann (Donelly/Hearst)
TD -- vox
Michael Hearst -- accordion, bass, mellotron, guitar, percussion
Chris Toppin -- vocals
Hilken Mancini -- vocals
Dean Fisher -- drums
Recorded by Michael Hearst at Urban Geek Studio, Brooklyn NY. Vocals recorded by Scott Janovitz at Moontower Studio, Somerville MA
Mixed and mastered by Matt Beaudoin at Q Division Studios, Somerville MA

Flying at Night (Donelly/Ewen)
TD: vox
Synths & Programming: Christopher Ewen
Recorded and Mixed by Christopher Ewen, vox recorded by Tanya at Studio 24
Mastered by Matthew Beaudoin at Q Division

Old Brown Radio (Fisher)
Gracie Fisher -- piano, vocals
recorded by Gracie Fisher at Studio 24
Mixed and mastered by Matt Beaudoin at Q Division Studios, Somerville MA

Star Demos
Recorded by Joe Harvard at Ft. Apache Studio, Cambridge MA

Michael Hearst: One Ring Zero Publishing (BMI)
Dean Fisher: dhf Music (BMI)
Bill Janovitz: Janoclair Music (BMI)
Christopher Ewen: Omnisonic Music (ASCAP)
Tanya Donelly: Tanya Donelly (BMI) and Slow Dog Music (BMI)


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