Heather O’Neill, a singer/songwriter who turns the ineffable human experience into melodic and emotional stews of sound, is the definition of a global citizen— and it shows.
Transmute, O’Neill’s most recent EP, has internalized the full range of emotions O’Neill has encountered during her time and travels, and recounts them back to listeners in a glorious harmony.
“Lady Blue,” a ballad which abandons typical conventions and rules behind, is truly a dichotomy of emotion. The song features just O’Neill, her guitar, and passionate riffs paired with slow, ambient strums. The bluesy, sad vocals tug on the edges of rhythmic time. Pushing the beat around, bossing her fingers across the strings. Her voice is juxtaposed by the hopeful and optimistic sounding acoustic guitar. The minimalism of the song forces the listener to consider every single note.
The bluesy, sad vocals tug on the edges of rhythmic time.
However, the title track, “Transmute,” offers up something different to listeners.
Reminiscent of a 90s easy listening rock song, O’Neill sounds like she could have easily been featured on an Incubus track. Her vocal stylings are grungier, the music is thicker, and the vibe more carefree. The full band backing her up in “Transmute” exemplifies her ability to toy with genre and execute. However, she maintains the binary of vocals which mourn and guitar riffs which see a new light at the end of the pain. A musical fruition of Heather O’Neill’s own admitted life philosophy: “Like Mercurius from Roman mythology, I try to ‘enjoy my time equally with both the good and the wicked.”
Stream Heather O’Neill’s Music
Born in Ireland, raised outside of Chicago, and wandering the world since; music has clung to O’Neill from all corners of culture. She melts and condenses genres like folk, blues, rock, and soul into her acoustic based sound. Transmute, her 2 song EP, was released on iTunes on January 10th, 2018 and can be streamed on Soundcloud.
Written by: Alexis Sleeper