Tara Jane O’Neil
Few people have the tenacity to really stick with something, specifically something creative. Luckily, there are artists like Tara Jane O’Neil to set a precedent of consistency. Besides her presence in mid-1990s projects like Rodan and Retsin, O’Neil had her first solo release, Peregrine, back in 2000. Nearly two decades later, she’s on her eighth full-length (and first self-titled one), which has found a fit with the label Gnomonsong, home to the sunwashed melancholy folk niche of California music history. The album’s general tone is subdued, with choruses and instrumental swells fogged by hazy details like brush-swept drums, sly lap-steel, and O’Neil’s gentle vocal delivery nestled between lilting sonic waves. The record is indirectly lush, flaring around O’Neil’s quiet, straightforward guitar base. On “Kelley,” things keep breaking open, like on a road trip when you alternate between woods and wide-open expanse. But it’s not about where the record goes as much as where it sticks.