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Tara Jane O'Neil

For her first ever solo release, Peregrine, Tara Jane O'Neil took the sketchy outlines of a few songs, a bunch of borrowed instruments, and a few recording machines into her New York apartment and locked the door. She often recorded with little more than an abstract, intuitive idea of she wanted the music to sound like. On a few occasions she invited friends in to record single tracks without telling them anything about the rest of the song. After ten weeks, she emerged with a collection of songs that are disjointed and ephemeral even as they are coherent and comforting. It's an intensely personal record, not in the overtly confessional quality of most music referred to as "intensely personal," but in the direct access it offers the listener to the musician's intuitive and intellectual processes. The acoustic-oriented sound of songs like the featured "Bullhorn Moon" is cool and sometimes sensuous, full of delicate guitar plucking, soft guitar drone, bits of violin and other strings, and quiet found sounds. But the most beautiful instrument you will hear on any of these songs is O'Neil's bracing soprano, which washes you clean like a cool shower at the end of a hot day.