"Seattle Americana songwriter Annie O"Neill is a queen of the sonically seen and unseen. A guide in the moment, an elusive spirit the next, O'Neill hold out her proverbial hand to offer songs of pigrimage, songs of shell games and the final ace up her sleeve. With her new EP Wild Card, she demonstrates the powerful verve that comes from the confidence and the elastic energy that comes from explicating the truth. On the EP she demonstrates the ability to blend world music influences with blues and soul, rock with folk to create a dynamic album. On the record, O'Neill collaborates with Seattle standouts like bassist and vocalist Amy Denio, electric guitarist Thaddeus Turner and bassist Rick Friel.
Prior to Wild Card, O'Neill sang for two years with the popular band Danny Newcomb and the Sugarmakers, including on the record Masterwish which also features Pearl Jam's Mike McCready.Annie O'Neill can regularly be found performing both solo or with her band of talented Emerald City players. A former busker at the historic Pike Place market, she now teaches at the Hendrix Music Academy with the famed Hendrix family." (Jake Uitti).
Starting with Carrying Torches, Annie O'Neil showcases her warm vocal in a country song that is right up there with the great country tunes from the history. The strings always another emotional level and this is no exception. You would be made of stone if you didn't feel anything listening to this.The lyrics talk about homesickness, memories of good times and the desire to return.
Wild Card, the title track of the EP, is more upbeat and uplifting. As the title suggest, O'Neill shows a little bit of her wild side here, somebody might say, being a bad girl, at least for a while. there's no more time to waste, The lyrics suggest that everybody has things in their lives they're not that proud of doesn't everyone fall from grace sometimes
Sanctuary changes the mood yet again into calmer, more meditative, introspective. The song talks about searching the way back home, searching our true meaning in the world.
Wild Horses, a Rolling Stones cover, is a nice piano ballad, hugely atmospheric piece that plays with your imagination and your feelings.The haunting harmonies solidify the effect of the powerful lyrics.
Brown Rice & Apple Pie (Count Your Blessings) is a fitting number to close the collection. The jazzy twist will make your body shake along, And lift your spirits up. The lyrics make you them literally and be grateful for every good thing that comes your way. Because you know what? Not everybody is as fortunate as you are.
With Wild Card, Annie O'Neill shows she's a dedicated artist putting her heart and soul in the work and the result is refreshing and smooth as a breeze. You may allow your wild streak to come out as well.