New York native and multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter P.J. O’Connor is a new brand of quirky modern troubadour, straddling many genres and traditions. Optimistic yet worldly, contemplative and contagious, his songs are catchy lightning bolts of hope and intensity that reveal an artist who believes that love, can indeed, still unite us and still save the day.
Television’s Golden Age, O’Connor’s first solo album, was called “…an impressive debut” by Relix Magazineand is a collection of songs that not only express the depth of his bright and intimate songwriting, but also exposes the soulful heart beating behind New York City’s chaotic, gritty exterior. Having previously been the drummer and percussionist for wildly popular, cult-status bands (The Bogmen, Radio 4) as well as working with legendary artists such as Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads) and Gordan Gano (Violent Femmes), O’Connor felt compelled to chronicle his observations as an artist while exploring his own vision.
As a whole, the songs on Television’s Golden Age are a glorious combo of fun and melancholy that swirl around an emotional depth comparable to the mossy spiritual sunshine of Van Morrison and the funky folk of Michael Kiwanuka. Originally hailing from Long Island, O’Connor’s Irish roots and strong familial ties led him to travel alone across Ireland while taking a break from other artist’s musical projects. He ended up busking in local pubs around the country while weaving together new songs and experiences. "Summer Squall" and "Your Vision" were birthed there, along with the album’s wistful closer, "Stop To Smell The Rose" – a minor-key dirge that sweetly swings into a lilting chorus and implores the listener to “learn to let it go, life keeps moving fast”. Gratitude, inner growth, and an overwhelming sense of grace permeate both his songwriting and his outlook on life with a shimmering intensity that is both visceral and sensually palpable.
Upon his return to the States, O’Connor confronted the wreckage and memories of his personal past, including the death of his beloved mother on Christmas Day in 2017 and even the NYC terrorist attack on 9/11, where he lost many friends. Continuing to write, O’Connor’s old apartment on Christopher Street near New York City’s West Side Highway also proved inspiring as he documented some of the city’s more nefarious activities. Pimps, pushers, johns, along with an assortment of colorful local characters populate “You Burned Your Name” with a Tom Waits-like hustler’s utopia. But instead of leaning towards a more brooding darkness in his creative output, he worked to infuse the songs with higher versions of himself by channeling his pain into positivity.
The first single and video from the album, “Indecisive Moon”, was dubbed “…a 21st-century Manhattan anthem” by the Bay Area Reporterand the song’s chorus definitively mirrors his love affair with The Big Apple: “May the lights of New York City shine on me wherever I go.” Directed by Emmy award-winning
Produced by O’Connor’s former bandmate, Vic Thrill (aka Billy Campion), Television’s Golden Age boasts drummer Parker Kindred (Jeff Buckley, Liam Gallagher), bassist Brad Truax (Interpol, Cass McCombs), brothers Billy and Brendan Ryan (The New Pornographers, Gordon Gano) on guitar and keyboards respectively, and Grammy®-nominated Leslie Mendelson (Jackson Browne) on backing vocals. Songs from the album have been featured on the CBS television shows NCIS: Los Angelesand INSTIИCT while also garnering significant radio airplay in both the U.S. and UK.
O’Connor continues to periodically work with his pals from The Bogmen, who starred in the film, We Will Go To Them Tonight - a documentary that chronicled the band’s emotional, fanatically received sold-out reunion show that benefitted the 9/11 charity Kristy Smiles. Additionally, his drumming and percussion work with dance-punk band Radio 4 produced two albums and tourswith LCD Soundsystem, !!! (chk-chk-chk)