Belly "Feel" (2018 Record Store Day EP)

For Record Store Day 2018, the reunited ‘90’s alt-pop band Belly – led by ex-Throwing Muses singer/guitarist Tanya Donelly – released a 10-inch 45-rpm EP titled Feel. Limited to 2,000 copies and pressed in blue “splatter-colored” vinyl, this EP heralds the May 4th release of Dove, which is Belly’s first new album in 23 years. The band has stated that this new album is a more collaborative effort than their earlier works, on which Donelly did most of the songwriting; the songwriting is now collectively credited to the band. Guitarist Tom Gorman produced, with assistance by Paul Q. Kolderie in recording and mixing.

The two tracks on the first side of the Feel EP are both songs from the Dove album. “Army Of Clay” and especially “Human Child” are quite good, suggesting that Dove will lie in the same basic vein as the band’s 1993 debut album Star. These two songs have the same basic guitar-based dream-pop sound, and Donelly’s voice still has the same off-kilter feminine appeal as it did two decades ago. However, the band’s lyrics have seemingly become less dark and more mature. Although these two songs are accessible, they have a less radio-ready production sound than “Shiny One” and “Stars Align”, two other tracks from Dove which were available digitally by the time of this EP’s release.

The second side of the EP contains two exclusive tracks, including a cover of the song “Hushabye Mountain”, which was originally sung by Dick Van Dyke in the 1968 fantasy movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Belly’s rendition of that children’s lullaby adds guitar to the strings and xylophone sounds of the original, and Donelly’s vocal is appropriately gentle. It’s a good track, but “Starryeyed” is even better; it’s a warm folk ballad sung in a likably quirky voice by Donelly, in a fashion reminiscent of her former Throwing Muses partner Kristin Hersh.

Belly - Feel

Belly “Feel” EP (Belly Inc 83774-01) 2018

Track Listing:

1. Army Of Clay
2. Human Child
3. Starryeyed
4. Hushabye Mountain