Stream: Tara Jane O’Neil, ‘Blow’

Tara Jane O'Neil (photo by Jmy Kidd)

Multi-talented musician and artist Tara Jane O’Neil has a new self-titled album coming out April 21 on Gnomonsong Records, the ninth solo record of her career. In a lovingly written introduction accompanying the album, writer Maggie Nelson calls her friend a poetic genius, and spends a few paragraphs elaborating on “the simple awe that derives from witnessing irrepressible, astonishing forces and capabilities rushing through a fellow human.” She describes the live experience: “When TJO puts her head down on stage and starts creating her soundscapes, her iconic straight hair hanging like a sheet of rain between audience hunger and face, you can see the music possess her, just as surely as she possesses the music.” And she suggests the listener take the time to dig into her lyrics because “she is a poet at heart, whose chosen phrases and images aim to communicate truly as much as to burrow and sound.” We agree with everything Nelson says.

The new album was recorded half at Wilco’s Loft Studio in Chicago with musicians James Elkington, Gerald Dowd, Nick Macri, and Greenberg. The rest was captured at O’Neil’s home studio in L.A. with Devin Hoff, Wilder Zoby, Walt McClements and Jim James. Chris Cohen, Carolyn Pennypacker-Riggs and Joan Shelley lend their voices, while O’Neil plays guitar, bass, keyboards, percussion. “Blow” is gentle and easygoing while still managing to feel as expansive as a daydream that knocks you off the chair. 

||| Stream: “Blow” and “Sand”

||| Live: Tara Jane O’Neil celebrates her album release with a show April 19 at Bootleg Theater, along with Califone and Rachel blumberg (of The Decemberists). Tickets.