Tanya Donelly and the Parkington Sisters
Good musical covers are like cross-bred flowers. They have an origin, are hybridized with an artist’s interpretation, and released to the world so others can revel in their evolution. This is so with acoustic string arrangements and four-part harmonies that elegantly weave this latest album of covers from Tanya Donelly and the Parkington Sisters. With refined string arrangements and harmonies from the Parkington Sisters, Belly’s frontwoman, Tanya Donelly, transform classic pop-rock songs into an softly emotive songs for starry night.
Their first release, a remake of the Go-Go’s originally jaggedly sharp “Automatic” now dabbed with pizzicatos and a soft exaggerated pronunciations of the lyrics provide a delicate and delicious feel of suspense.
Donnelly’s voice injects an infectious innocence in the Kirsty MacColl’s “Days”, and “Different Drum”, covered so many times since Linda Ronstadt’s original release with the Stone Poneys, is close to the Susanna Hoffs version but lighter and more sophisticated. In the original McCartney cover, “Let Me Roll It” and Echo and the Bunny Men’s “Ocean Rain”, over-reverbed vocals were toned way down, and adding an intimate feel. And “Dance Me to the End of Love” transforms Leonard Cohen’s Greek dance beat to a haunting and satisfying torch song.
It’s a shame we’re in a COVID lockdown because Tanya Donelly and the Parkington Sisters would’ve done great doing live tours in small supper club venues across the US. Until better days, pick up this album of remakes from this welcome collaboration.