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A Ways Away

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Audio CD, May 5, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Her fifth album and first for K contains 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. Her voice is out front and the vocals are gorgeously sung. Contributors include Jana Hunter, Mira, Osa Atoe (New Bloods), Geoff Soule (Fuck), and Jean Cook and Daniel Littleton (Ida).

Review

"Ever since she began putting her name on the front of her albums, Tara Jane O'Neil has perfected the art of writing songs that perfectly encapsulate both the comfort of misery and the misery of comfort" --Pitchfork

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

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 5, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: K Records
  • ASIN: B001W9SYIS
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #598,828 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mike Newmark on June 16, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I have a hard time lumping Tara Jane O'Neil into the singer-songwriter genre to which she's often resigned. Okay, she's a folkie who primarily plays guitar, writes songs, and sings the songs she writes. But consider this: In the early `90s she sang and played bass in Rodan, the key developer of the fleshy, theatrical wing of math-rock. Its dissolution in 1994 spawned Rachel's, June of 44 and O'Neil's own Sonora Pine, three groups that nicely captured the post-rock tendencies of that decade. At the same time, she was playing folk music as Retsin alongside Cynthia Nelson (whose Ruby Falls had been the only all-female math-rock band of any significance), although they initially sounded closer to Slint than Tori Amos and never quite lost their angularity as they veered toward the middle of the road. So steeped in this aesthetic was she that her first solo record in 2000--a showpiece for acoustic guitar and songs about streets, birds and barrooms--was more of a pivot than a turnabout, carrying the atmosphere of a beautiful post-rock enigma instead of the coarse and flighty singer-songwriter brick it doubtlessly would have become in someone else's hands.

The music she's been making under her own name since that record, Peregrine, doesn't fit well with our assumptions of what a solo guitarist/multi-instrumentalist usually generates; at the risk of sounding cavalier, you just have to hear it to believe it. It's moody but not depressing, pretty but not precious, sedated but not numb. Best not to get too caught up in the lyricism--surreal and jarring and heavy--and admire her voice instead, an alluring purr that seems to be forever paying tribute to earthen comforts. There's comfort, too, in the consistency of the path she's cut for herself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L.Grasslands on May 5, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Such a beautiful sound that she has cultivated, shimmering nocturnal indie folk and at first listen all that grabs you is the iridescent beauty of each track, layered and sparkling and spectral and that's more than enough from any record. But they dig deeper and her lyrics and voice are like some lost lovelorn sprit singing songs on the simple human failings, hopes and ambitions of life and love. It is in it's musings on the simple things in life, dressed in such beautiful music that makes this such an absolute triumph of a record.
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