FACT mix 618: Tara Jane O’Neil
Former Rodan bassist and prolific solo artist Tara Jane O’Neil provides a restorative mix of female voices.
As the bassist of the foundational band Rodan, Tara Jane O’Neil is a post-rock pioneer. Her solo work is just as impressive. Albums like You Sound, Reflect and Where Shines New Light are languid, immersive, and unlike so much music made with guitars.
A listen to most of TJO’s solo work is in itself like listening to a mix. While she writes and records discrete tracks, together the songs teeter between folk and ambient. She crafts what she once called “kind of a sound bed” for the folkier bits to live in – and the way she is able to stretch and pull each one into the other is both comforting and stirring.
Earlier this year, she released a self-titled album that revisited a time before those moments of electronic daydreaming and roots itself in the exploration of positivity, both through its lyrics, where TJO has said she worked out feelings of loss, and in her communion with other musicians who play on the record.
“I’m trying to be intentional about what I’m putting into the music and then gets put into the world,” she said in an interview earlier this year. “I have to [perform those songs] every night: Where’s the positivity, or for lack of a better, less sincere word, where’s the healing in all them?”
You can find a palliative on Tara Jane O’Neil and here, too. TJO’s FACT mix features women with some of the strongest voices in music – Alice Coltrane, Judee Sill, Laura Nyro and Nina Simone, just to name a few – and is one of the more restorative sessions we’ve hosted. O’Neil’s own encapsulation of the mix is just, “music is a healing force.” Feel its warmth below.
Laura Nyro – ‘Upstairs By a Chinese Lamp’
Judee Sill – ‘The Living End’
Nina Simone – ‘Backlash Blues’
Jaimie Branch – ‘Theme 002’
Solange – ‘Weary’
Joni Mitchell – ‘Shine’
Dear Nora – ‘Caribou, Timberwolf’
Samara Lubelski – ‘The Fleeting Skies’
Richard and Linda Thompson – ‘Withered and Died’
Sharon Robinson – ‘Alexandra Leaving’
Alice Coltrane – ‘Om Supreme’
TAJ and ZOBY – ‘In Pleasant Company’
Rachel Grimes with Loscil – ‘The Air at Night (Live at Substrata)’
Read next: The 30 best post-rock albums of all time