Throwing Muses was founded in the mid-1980s by stepsisters Kristin Hersh and Tanya Donelly when they were in high school. The band’s lo-fi and mysterious quirky sounds predated the riot grrrl movement by several years. Donelly left the band in the early 1990s to form Belly, while Hersh has divided the last 25 years between solo works and albums using the Throwing Muses nom de guerre. The latest such effort, Sun Racket (Fire Records) maintains the murky mystery of the band’s best work, while avoiding the excess of their 2013 album. At 36 minutes, Sun Racket is over all too soon.
Donelly, who perfected her warm and inviting vocals when she reunited Belly two years ago, now provides front for the violin-driven Parkington Sisters folk trio, who offer nine covers of beautiful songs on the eponymous Tanya Donelly and the Parkington Sisters (American Laundromat). If Donelly’s versions of songs by Leonard Cohen, Paul McCartney or Mary Margaret O’Hara fail to grab you, try listening to the foursome’s interpretation of the Michael Nesmith/Linda Ronstadt song “Different Drum.”