Tara Jane O'Neil

Sirena (IPU136)

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Tara Jane O'Neil once mused that the 7-inch is a perfect medium for pop music (a sentiment shared by K and our International Pop Underground series).

This is Tara Jane O'Neil's first solo recordings since her critically acclaimed release A Ways Away [KLP207] in 2009, the underwater-song “Sirena,” a tribute to a Spanish folktale, and the “The Rainbow Connection,” O'Neil’s tender rendition of the classic children’s song. Intended for both for dreamers and lovers, for sleepy afternoons in the sunshine and moments of light and laughter, these two songs are captured with such artistry that they are almost tangible.

“Sirena” is a lullaby of a song O'Neil wrote after hearing of the folk tale in Spain. A young girl, anxious to swim in cool waters, slips out of her house and her time until her mother’s frustrated curses transform her into a sh. The resulting music feels like a dream painted upon waking. Her harmonies pull at some current, mystical in nature—the brushed drums and gentle strum of her guitar are waves lapping against some shore.

“The Rainbow Connection” is an anthem for people who still see magic things and hear the magic call: stargazers, dreamers, and lovers.

The many artistic roles Tara Jane O'Neil embraces—the song writer, collaborator, visual artist—and the many years she’s spent traveling, playing shows in Italy, Japan, and France, bring a gravity to her songs that is as recognizable as the elastic reverb that runs through all of them. Here, though, her signature reverb transports us rather than establishing us in a set time and place. With O'Neil we can dream, travel and imagine, if only for a short spell.

This is Vol. CXLII in K's International Pop Underground Series.