Marykate has crafted a style with humor and irony intact anchored in daily life.
4 stars - Rolling Stone
If Elvis Costello and Astrid Gilberto swapped spit in another time dimension,
singer/guitarist Marykate O'Neil would be the musical spawn of their eros. -- CMJ Essential Listen
Living a post-college cubicle life in lower Manhattan, and living by night as a shut-in in Brooklyn, Oâ€™Neil would pen the songs that made up the critically acclaimed self-released, self-entitled, "Marykate Oâ€™Neil". The no budget record, funded entirely by Oâ€™Neilâ€™s unofficial sponsor, visa (pre-approved), went on to peak at #8 on the CMJ charts, who in turn called the record "spotlessly constructed" and picked it as an essential listen. Rockpile said it was "the perfect blend of metropolitan indie high society and Music City's tradition of sanguine, heart-crafted songwriting." The record was released outside the US a year later in Japan, Australia, and Europe and Oâ€™Neil found herself touring both as a solo artist and along side her band throughout the US and Europe. Oâ€™Neilâ€™s songs were featured in the Sundance award winning film â€œStephanie Dailyâ€ and Japanese pop idol Tomoyo Harada covered three of Oâ€™Neilâ€™s songs on her album â€˜My Piecesâ€™.
Encouraged, Oâ€™Neil charged another and got the attention of Nettwerk music group who recently released her latest record "1-800-bankruptâ€. It is co-produced by Roger Moutenot (Yo La Tengo; Beulah; Joseph Arthur; Elvis Costello; Sleater-Kinney;) and Jill Sobule. The record was made in pieces, partly in Oâ€™Neilâ€™s Brooklyn apartment (which accounts for some of the ambient noise -- i.e. neighbors yelling, rain, cabs honking) and partly in Rogersâ€™s studio in Nashville. The record features performances by Marykateâ€™s Brooklyn neighbors and Nashville friends: Matthew Caws (Nada Surf), Jill Souble, James Haggerty (Josh Rouse); Mickey Grimm (Butterfly); Brad Jones; Jim Boggia and Rob Burger (Tin Hat Trio). Prior to life as a NYC-based solo artist, Marykate was the singer/songwriter/guitarist for Boston indie-poppers Piewackit, who played alongside the likes of Elliot Smith, Mary Lou Lord, Lois, and Ida. Piewackit made a never-released record for IRS in its autumn years with the help of producer Michael Demming (Lilyâ€™s; Pernice Bros; Apples In Stereo).
1-800 Bankrupt continues with the sound that first brought Oâ€™Neil to the attention of the critics. The Boston Globe says, Bankrupt is a classic singer-songwriter collection, melding genre-defining influences such as brill building songwriting with alt-pop seasonings exploring the tribulations of life in the city with self-depreciating humor in tact. Performing Songwriter exclaims: â€œ1-800-Damnright!â€ saying, "the record sparkles with classic touches and Marykate's winning vocals are full of tenderness and humor throughout. â€. Amplifier has declared Oâ€™Neil â€œthe Carole King of the new Millennium.â€ Filter Magazine says Marykate Oâ€™Neil is an artist to watch and calls 1-800-Bankrupt â€˜pure magic from start to finish.â€ Venus calls Bankrupt â€œwitty, angsty goodnessâ€. Not Lame gives the record a solid, black and white grade A!