My Top 1000 Songs #231: Feed The Tree

We were talking Kim Deal here just the other day, and her post-Pixies act the Breeders was a hugely successful crossover from indie rock into more radio/MTV-friendly 90s alt.rock. Charting a similar course at the same time was Tanya Donelly. Like Deal, Donelly started out in one of the bright lights of Boston indie rock (Throwing Muses); after co-founding the Breeders with Deal and playing on the band's initial releases, Donelly then started her own band, Belly, which similarly brought a bit more pop sheen to her indie roots and won some more mainstream attention.

1993 full-length debut Star had a number of great tunes--"Gepetto" is another favorite--but "Feed The Tree" was an undeniable standout, with a killer earworm pop hook and Donelly pouring on the vocal charm. (Donelly is also underrated as a guitarist, and the song offers some dark, slinky riffs that cut loose into joyous jangle-pop.) It's one of those tracks that's still pretty arresting 30 years later, the kind of tune that comes up on shuffle-play and demands that you drop everything and sing along with the rousing chorus. "Take your hat off, boy, when you're talkin' to me..."

Live just a few years back: