The work of Tara Jane ONeil has always innately crossed genres and
boundaries - like several genies emerging from a single lamp. Every
singer wants to be a painter, every guitarist a singer, every songwriter
a poet and every producer an alchemist. ONeil is skilled at all these
things and on A Ways Away \, her fifth album, she
has wielded all of her powers. A Ways Away is a song cycle, generous
and concise, direct and uncompromising.
TJO’s new LP is primarily the offering of a singer-songwriter, but there is
an elegant attention to detail in the mix that will please all those in
need of great headphone jams, electronic minimalist drone magic,
and heroic adventure. But A Ways Away is driven by the singer and
the songs. On this record, she has put her voice out front, and as in
the past, the vocals are perversely and meticulously arranged and
gorgeously sung. There’s compassion and concern, wisdom and
heartbreak, moving on and waking up in these songs.
The elements of her live show and her studio craft meet here. There’s
some sorcery and exorcism, and there are questions that stand on
their own. As a dream is surprising and mysterious, so can be her
performance, haunting, masterful, arresting. Her ability to divine the
finest players in any town to create shifting and often spontaneous
bands makes each show unique, a thing of legend. TJO conjures up
all of your favorite singer-songwriters, painters and poets as if they are
all there in her songs, a dialogic meeting in the air. It is an expansive
and dynamic mystery sound. There is space in it, there is volume and
electricity in it, and there is no fear. ONeil coaxes gamelan sonorities
or tiny gongs out of her guitar, thick dissonant tone clusters or rapid
finger picking to support her mellifluous call.
TJO has scored soundtracks for film, theater and dance. She was a founding member of some influential and prescient bands back in the day, like Rodan, Retsin, and the Sonora Pine. ONeil is also an accomplished visual artist whose paintings and drawings have exhibited worldwide; Wings. Strings. Meridians. A Blighted Bestiary, her second book of paintings to appear in the last decade, was published by Yeti.
released May 5, 2009
Contributions on A Ways Away came from Jana Hunter, Mirah, Osa
Atoe Geoff Soule, Bob Jones, Jean Cook and Daniel
Littleton. The studio ensemble of the Ecstatic Tambourine Orchestra was Sara Lund, Elizabeth Venable, Emily Kingan, Jason Bokros, Chelsey Johnson and John P.
While writing her own music, Tara Jane ONeil has also
collaborated with Papa M, Hand Habits, Mount Eerie, Ida, Amy Ray, Mirah, Michael Hurley, Catherine Irwin, and Dear Nora, among others.
released May 23, 2019
This is the artist reissue of the 2009 LP plus the 7 inch which came out a couple years later but was recorded during the winter 2008/2009. see tracks for players and technical notes.
TJO is a multi-instrumentalist,composer,producer and visual artist. She creates melodic and experimental music under her own
name and in collaboration with other musicians, dancers and filmmakers. As a solo artist she has released 10 full-length albums.A founding member of Rodan and guest player for countless others, TJO has performed around the world at DIY spaces, festivals and the Pompidou....more