Orindal records

TARA JANE O NEILL - Songs for Peacock LP

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Twenty-eight years into her kaleidoscopic discography, Songs for Peacock is the first album singer/guitarist/composer Tara Jane O’Neil has credited to just her initials: TJO. Recorded at home using primitive electronic instruments in addition to heavily effected electric guitar, bass & voice, Songs for Peacock is a collection of pop covers recalled from TJO’s youth, intended as a “mixtape” for her late brother Brian. Over twelve tracks & thirty-nine minutes, Songs for Peacock abstracts radio hits by the likes of Boy George, Bananarama, Leonard Cohen, Siouxsie and the Banshees & INXS, distilling earworms into thin wisps of dreamlike atmosphere, or stretching them into languorous psychedelic soundscapes. Songs for Peacock warps our collective musical memory to form a singular & cohesive body of work that defines TJO’s highly personal sonic landscape.

Tara Jane O’Neil explains:

Pop music is sticky. It can stick on you for 30 years without you knowing. It can stick you right back into a room or a car. Commercial radio is powerful like smell.

There was a mint green Honda Accord with a cassette player, and we drove it down Imperial Highway listening to Madonna for the first time. Even though we were listening to radio gold, it felt like a secret, not to be enjoyed with the family like my Olivia Newton John obsession could be. A lot of pop music that year felt the same. (The “ANT MUSIC FOR SEX PEOPLE” badge in the liner notes I covered over with a Sharpie. I can't remember if we bought our own copies or if I defaced yours?) The mothers were driving station wagons and Celicas and moving their bodies to Neil Diamond and to Jane Fonda. There were soup can hand weights and ceremonial leotards you could wear to stave off middle age in the afternoon. (And unbeknownst to them, finance Jane’s leftist causes.)