The work of Tara Jane O'Neil 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. O'Neil is skilled at all these things and on A Ways Away [KLP207], her fifth album and first for K Records, 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.