At the tender age of 13, singer-songwriter Tara Vaughan forgot the words to the national anthem while singing it at a basketball game in front of 500 people. She ran from the court crying and vowed to never sing again. Flash forward five years, when an 18 year old Vaughan broke her vow to sing it at the high school state championship hockey game in which her brother Evan was playing. Tragedy struck as she forgot the words again, in the exact same spot as the first time, like a real jerk.

Things have looked mostly up since then for the two time Omaha and Entertainment Awards Songwriter of the Year nominee. The Nebraska native released her debut full length album Dandelion Wine on May 17, 2016. Vaughan wrote the album’s ten songs about mistakes and self-discovery over a period of two years in the probably-haunted attic bedroom of a bungalow on Poppleton Avenue, and recorded in Nashville with producer Joe Pisapia (k.d. lang, Ben Folds Five, Guster). The album stays true to her trademark honey-thick vocals and bouncy piano pop style, and shines with complex arrangements and the addition of atmospheric guitars. Vaughan released the follow-up to 2011’s Better Versions EP following her appearance at SXSW, and will follow with a national tour in summer 2016.

Her backing band, featuring local favorites Jessica Errett, Matt McGuigan, Rich Miller and Adam Stoltenberg, regularly plays Omaha mainstays like the Waiting Room and Slowdown, and Vaughan has played stages as far flung as London and Barcelona, as well as one tipsy karaoke bar performance of Blondie’s ‘Call Me’ in Tokyo which she’s pretty sure counts.