Marykate O’Neil Releases New Video off “Underground” (Today, Nettwerk/71 Recordings)

New York-based singer-songwriter Marykate O’Neil is releasing her fourth solo effort, Underground (Nettwerk/71 Recordings), on February 3rd, 2009. Following 2002’s self-titled album, 2006’s 1-800-Bankrupt, and most recently, 2008’s mkULTRA EP, Underground presents a collection of exquisitely crafted, impeccably literate pop songs. With her work previously hailed by critics as “deeply authentic and original” (Rolling Stone) and “pure magic” (Filter), Underground reaffirms O’Neil’s exceptional talent for heartfelt, bittersweet songwriting.

“I feel lucky to have all of my friends play on the record because music for me has always been about community,” she says, “…and in that spirit I always try to drag about everyone I know into my projects.” Fortunately, O’Neil seems to know no one but talented musicians. She shares producing credit with Jill Sobule, Jacob Lawson, and Roger Moutenot (Yo La Tengo, Elvis Costello, Sleater-Kinney), and contributors include Mickey Grimm (Butterfly Boucher, Over the Rhine) and Ken Maiuri (Pedro the Lion, Soft Drugs, Mark Mulcahy).

“I just don’t think the underground is ever over,” O’Neil adds. “Be it music, art, writing, ideas… I just think sometimes it all get harder to find… and I think we are living in one of those more elusive times, where things are all getting done in a more underground/DIY kind of way — even if you aren’t the MC5.” Be that as it may, O’Neil has managed to capture the DIY, community spirit on these eleven tracks, in everything from the production to the album artwork. Recording was accomplished everywhere from friends’ studios, including Fountains of Wayne’s Stratosphere Sound, to her kitchen table in Bed-Stuy. For the record cover, O’Neil collaborated with Craig Eastland to create a look based on the East Village Other, including a protest poster from May 68 and a Polaroid of Marykate, age 4, flashing a peace sign. Accompanying the record release will be a downloadable booklet, in the style of an underground newspaper, with contributions from Marykate’s collective.

“The underground is over if you want it…. As for me,” O’Neil says, echoing the title track, “…I don’t want to leave the underground.”

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past praise for Marykate O’Neil:

“Marykate’s skillful melodies and delicate voice are veritable pearls of sweetness. Deeply authentic and original, Marykate has crafted a style with humor and irony intact anchored in daily life.” – Rolling Stone

“If Elvis Costello and Astrud Gilberto swapped spit in another time dimension, singer/guitarist Marykate O’Neil would be the musical spawn of their eros. A doll-faced talent with enough 60’s chutzpah and ’90’s cynicism to spark her own songwriting genre — call it ‘beat-pop’.” Picked as an Essential Listen – CMJ

“Marykate O’Neil an artist to watch. 1-800-Bankrupt is a charming sophomore effort and a rare instance where everything simply clicks. This album is pure magic from start to finish.” – Filter

“Marykate O’Neil is an artist with a sweet voice, biting and witty lyrics, and folk pop arrangements. 1-800-Bankrupt is witty angsty goodness.” – Venus

“Bankrupt is a classic singer-songwriter collection. Marykate O’Neil has now done two glorious albums melding genre-defining influences such as Brill Building songwriting with alt-pop seasonings. Her songwriting explores the tribulations of life in the city with self-depreciating humor.” – Boston Globe

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