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Soul-infused Bass Artist Maddy O’Neal Unveils Sophomore LP Ricochet

by Eric Valencia

Denver-based producer Maddy O’Neal crafts musical collages. Through a unique blend of styles and influences, she’s cultivated a brand of future bass that incorporates intricate synth design, glistening electro-soul melodies, and funky, pulsating basslines – a holistic, individualized sound composed of disparate creative sensibilities.

Following a breakneck tour schedule that’s seen O’Neal vaunt her hybrid DJ-drum pad live performance at 90+ shows annually for the last five years, the bass music purveyor now unveils her 10-track Ricochet LP, offering listeners an aestheticized, meticulously-curated peer into her kaleidoscopic world.

Pulling from various influences and thematic ideas, Ricochet is a buoyant journey through a shifting arsenal of styles and soundscapes, with O’Neal playing drum pads, keyboards, and synthesizers in addition to collaborating with various vocalists and instrumentalists. The result is a push-and-pull listening experience that explores O’Neal’s personal dualities: Light/Dark, Masculine/Feminine, Escapism/Presence – these are the concepts that represent Ricochet’s circulating artistic veins.

Fans got their first taste of Ricochet with the album’s May lead single “Never Fades,” a sparkling, euphoric future bass banger and collaboration with vocalist Sink. Then in July, O’Neal released “Follow Me,” a trap and reggae-inspired track featuring producer/trumpeter Balkan Bump. And in August, the producer unveiled the MOONZz collaboration “Change of Pace,” a track that surrounded its celestial vocal performance with ascendant chord progressions, glitchy synths, and a booming, bass-infused beat.

Image via Stephanie Parsley

Ricochet maintains this vibrant tone throughout its tracklist with a bevy of colorful, genre-crossing experiments. “Affected” is a massive collaboration with singer-guitarist Ryan Montbleau, guitarist Ryan Jalbert (The Motet), bassist Alana Rocklin (STS9), trumpeter Benny Bloom (Lettuce), and indie-pop trio WhyAwake – a full writer’s room of creative talent coming together for a lush, funky jam. The track kicks off with building synths and vocal hums before dropping into a punchy beat and groovy bassline backed by reverberating guitar chords. It then transitions into the song’s central hook, which surrounds Montbleau’s infectious delivery with a roaring horn section.

There’s also “Back To Basics,” a collaboration with rapper Def3. Seamlessly blending hip-hop and electronic music, “Back To Basics” combines Def3’s buttery flows with deep, trunk-rattling bass tones and futuristic synth leads.

Other Ricochet collaborations include the sweeping, soul-infused “Climb On” with fellow Denverites Michelle Sarah on vocals and turntablist Brisco Jones scratching up vocals; the adventurous, tactile “Dystopia” with beatboxing producer/multi-instrumentalist Honeycomb; and the atmospheric “Get Gone” with singer/rapper Lily Fangz.

Ricochet threads its genreless palette through a palpable sense of movement, motion, and intention. It’s Maddy O’Neal’s most ambitious body of work to date, designed to be a snapshot of a time and place in her life when she rediscovered creativity following a period of intense volatility. She wrote the album through informative self-reflection, returning to the roots of her artistry and individuality.

Hot on the heels of her debuts at LollapaloozaSame Same But Different, Secret Dreams, and High Ground Music Festival, the bass maestro will showcase Ricochet across the country this year, performing at festivals such as Lost Lands, Evolutions, and Hulaween, O’Neal’s live performances consist of original compositions, drum pads, and an interwoven storyline, ranging from down low grimy bangers to shimmery mid-tempo vocal bass tracks and head nod disco.

Maddy O’Neal Tour Dates

9/23/22-9/25/22: Lost Lands Music Festival 2022 – Thornville, OH
9/29/22: Canopy Club – Urbana, IL
9/30/22: The Intersection – Grand Rapids, MI
10/1/22: Park West – Chicago, IL +
10/6/22: Doobs On South – Philadelphia, PA +
10/7/22:  Photo City Music Hall – Rochester, NY #
10/8/22: Metronome – Burlington, VT
10/9/22: Evolutions Festival – Pattersonville, NY
10/14/22: The Elm – Bozeman, MT +
10/15/22: Wilma Theatre – Missoula, MT +
10/22/22: Salvage Station – Asheville, NC
10/27/22: Hulaween – Live Oak, FL
10/28/22 – 10/29/22: Freaky Deaky – Baytown, TX
11/3/22: Telegram Ballroom – Los Angeles, CA*
11/4/22: Music Box – San Diego, CA*
11/5/22: Black Box – Charlotte, NC^
11/18/22: The Cornerstone – Berkeley, CA*
11/25/22: Terminal West – Atlanta, GA^
1/20/23: The Jamaica Incident 2023 – Runaway Bay, Jamaica

+w/ Opiuo
#w/ Manic Focus
*w/ Dirtwire
^w/ SoDown

Maddy O’Neal: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | SoundCloud | YouTube

*Featured image via Stephanie Parsley*

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