Tara Jane O'Neil "A Ways Away" (2009)
Tara Jane O'Neil "A Ways Away" (2009)
K Records

Tara Jane O'Neil "A Ways Away" (2009)

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Details: New stock the original issue CD on K Records of Tara Jane O'Neil's now sold-out CD, released in 2009. The album was reissued in 2019 with extra tracks from the 7" and sold out again. Contributions 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. 

Description: "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 8 full-length albums. Since 1992 TJO has performed at clubs & DIY spaces around the world as well as the Centre de Pompidou, the Whitney Museum, and All Tomorrow’s Parties."

"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 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's 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 fingerpicking to support her mellifluous call.

TJO has scored soundtracks for film, theatre, 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.

Grade: M (new stock, sealed)


1. Dig In
2. In Tallgrass
3. Drowning
4. A New Binding
5. Howl
6. Pearl Into Sand
7. Beast, Go Along
8. A Vertiginous One
9. Biwa
10. The Drowning Electric