Tara Jane O’Neil beads the dreamy country/folk style of Joni Mitchell, Mary Black and Ani Difranco into her Bohemian aesthetic, finely ribboning her fourth album In Circles with a silky sonority. There is bliss in the acoustic gossamer of the instrumentation and a beatific gracefulness in O’Neil’s vocals. Her melodies take the shape of the elysian-sloped guitar strums, and chime with a divine resonance that hallows throughout each song.
In Circles offers gorgeous melodies caped in a demure nakedness. The themes in O’Neil’s songs display the beauty of wounds and blessings, inclusively eulogized in a becalming voice and instruments rotating in an elliptical shape, culminating in a Zen-like essence and a peaceful elegance. The airy instrument lifts on “Primer” are speckled with bell-sounding synths while the country/folk tangent of the guitar strums for “A Partridge Song” recline with restfulness. The acoustic orientations of the melodies are enhanced by interludes of synths and floating vocal phrases.
The simplicity and ruminative nature of O’Neil’s songs present an airy tonality lathered in delicate sounds and a rustic guitar panoramic. “The Louder” ventures into more darkly toned guitar plucking, reminiscent of Laura Cantrell, while the airiness of the flute patterns on “A Sparrow Song” are stylized by folk-encased guitar, tambourine, and keyboard intervals. O’Neil delves into multiple tonalities on tracks like “A Room For These” and “Blue Light Room” with lowlights of keyboards at the base of the songs as mid-lights of guitar and percussion are illuminated by highlights of dusky vocal glides. The instrumental pieces fanning “Fundamental Tom” and “This Beats” propagate sections that glow greater with each deposit of billowing successions. The notes are gradually blended into each other until they bloom fully and then disperse into splintering shards.
Tara Jane O’Neil’s songs are defined as sound art with an acoustic environment, framed by blissful vocals. She duets with nature, as she sings with birds for “A Sparrow Song” and “The Partridge Song” and the Pacific Ocean on “The Louder.” And much in that vein, her music has an ethereal beauty and a nakedness that desires simplicity and free flowing harmony with the celestial aspects that inhabit nature.