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All Music Guide:
Tara Jane O'Neil met Cynthia Nelson in 1993, when their respective bands (Rodan, Ruby Falls) were embarking on their first sets of extended national tours. Sharing a love of simple home recording techniques and melodic indie rock, the two became romantically and musically involved in 1994, collaborating as Retsin while retaining membership in their other bands, as well as participating in a number of varied projects and acting in the independent feature film Half-Cocked. The following year, the duo signed to the staunchly independent Simple Machines label, on which they released their debut full-length, Egg Fusion. Constantly involving themselves in innumerable bands recordings, O'Neil began working with her chamber folk outfit the Sonora Pine, while Nelson set about recording the first Ruby Falls LP. For the next two years, Retsin toured extensively, both with and without a rhythm section, as they increased their aptitude for playing acoustic-based music in a live setting. On one of those tours, opening for New York City's Ida led to a folky collaboration that was recorded in one day, called Ida Retsin Family. After Simple Machines folded in 1998, Retsin found kindred spirits in the proprietors of the Chicago-based Carrot Top label. Over the band's following two records, 1998's Sweet Luck of Amaryllis and 2001's Cabin in the Woods, Retsin blossomed into a capable neo-folk outfit, all but abandoning the electric guitar and standard instrumentation of indie rock for banjo, accordion, and violin.
Retsin was an American indie rock band founded by Tara Jane O'Neil and Cynthia Nelson.
Retsin was founded in 1993 by O'Neil, who had played with Rodan, and Nelson, a member of Ruby Falls. The two continued to work with other groups (Nelson with Ruby Falls, O'Neil in the group The Sonora Pine) while they collaborated as Retsin, and their relationship became romantic as well as musical. Their debut appeared in 1995, after they had appeared in the film Half-Cocked; the pair toured extensively behind the album, sometimes adding a rhythm section in live shows.
After playing live with Ida, the two groups did a recording together called Ida Retsin Family. Retsin's label, Simple Machines Records, went out of business in 1998, and they signed with Carrot Top Records for their next two full-lengths, the last of which appeared in 2001. Both O'Neil and Nelson joined Anna Padgett in Naysayer, recording two albums in 2001 and 2002.