Donelly, Tanya : Sleepwalk

It shimmers! It shines!...

Four years since her last outing, a long sabbatical in which she became a mother, the former Throwing Muses/Belly frontwoman returns with probably her finest compositions to date – certainly her most tender, soulful and melancholy. ‘The Storm’ is almost too beautiful for words, a spectral country-soul waltz of shimmering slide-guitar and softly glowing Hammond organ, on which Donelly’s Minnie Mouse vocals walk a tremulous falsetto tightrope. ‘After Your Party’ is a heartbreaking portrait of mid-life disappointment and big-city loneliness, ‘Last Rain’ a poignant attempt to snatch time as it rushes by. Beautiful, thoughtful, grown-up sentiments. With pedal-steel guitars and achingly bare arrangements, Donelly is claiming her place with the best of the new wave alt-country sirens like Laura Cantrell.

Stephen Dalton