Multi-media artist, Marykate O'Neil, has released six albums, a few cassettes, and a couple of .45’s. Her music has been played on the radio, internets and has been featured in movies and television. Marykate has performed throughout the U.S. and Europe to big festival crowds and to empty seats in darkened basements. Her paintings are exhibited throughout NYC's galleries and are held in private and University collections.
Marykate’s music has been described as --- Elvis Costello meets Astrud Gilberto; a female George Harrison; a Capote-esque storyteller; and most frequently like herself. The Boston Globe might have said it best (or at least the funniest) when they said: "O'Neil's literate lyrics feature the sort of off-kilter insights Emily Dickinson might make if alive today. After listening to commercial radio, hearing O'Neil sing is like reading Sylvia Path's brutally honest poetry in the wake of watching "American Idol".
In 2002, Marykate recorded and released her self-titled debut album, financing the project with 'pre-approved' credit cards. The record caught on among indie-pop fans and reached the top 10 in college radio. CMJ magazine called the record an 'essential listen' saying, ""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." Rolling Stone gave the record 4 stars and said: "Marykate's skillful melodies and delicate voice are veritable pearls of sweetness. A true original, Marykate has crafted a style with humor and irony intact anchored in daily life." The record was released in Japan, Australia, and throughout Europe. Three songs from 'Marykate O'Neil' were covered by Japanese film and television star Tomoyo Harada. Soon after, the Nettwerk music group picked up "Marykate O'Neil" and re-released the album, broadening O'Neil's exposure.
In 2006, O'Neil released "1-800-Bankrupt" which was hailed by Filter magazine as "pure magic" and Venus as "witty, angsty goodness." Also in 2006, O'Neil's song "Mundane Dream" was featured in the Sundance award-winning film "Stephanie Daley" starring Tilda Swinton. Performing Songwriter declared, "1-800-damn right! - the record sparkles with classic touches and Marykate's winning vocals are full of tenderness and humor throughout. To paraphrase XTC's Andy Partridge: 'It's really super, Supergirl'."
In 2008, O'Neil released 'mkULTRA' which made critics 'best of lists' with NPR's world cafe saying: 'O'Neil is a mix of sugar and spice and sometimes everything not so nice'. The weekly dig said: "O'Neil has the unflappable ability to intertwine the sweet and sour like an expert bartender." Quick on the heels of the mkULTRA, Marykate released "Underground" which Paste called one of the most anticipated records of 2009. According to All Music Guide, "Underground suggests that O'Neil has indeed arrived."
"A true original, Marykate has crafted a style with humor and irony intact anchored in daily life." Rolling Stone
"Although I have been painting since I could stand, I’ve never really shared any of my paintings publicly. In 2020, (maybe to keep myself focused on something besides the pandemic) I was asked to join Blue Mountain Gallery. Since that time, my paintings have been exhibited in half a dozen juried shows in the New York City Area. The more I paint, I feel like my paintings look like my songs sound. I am always drawn to those small moments where contradictions sit comfortably by each other, side by side.”
Marykate grew up in a small New England town and currently lives in NYC. In addition to painting and songwriting, O'Neil has long been involved in issues involving civil rights and education. She earned her B.A. in philosophy from Boston University; M.A. in education policy and politics from Columbia University and J.D. from the University of Connecticut.