Singer-songwriter, Heather O’Neill has turned to ancient and dark places to find inspiration for her forthcoming single, “Pricking a Witch”. Taking its title from the practice in the 16th century of witch-finders and family members testing the “cleanliness of the suspect – they were stripped, examined for marks, and pricked with needles to test their sorcery, with a lack of reaction taken to mean they were in league with the Devil himself.” Heather drags this into the 21st Century, wondering if it is still the people closest to you who are most likely to betray you.
Currently based in Chicago, Illinois, Heather has travelled all her life, observing others and finding that the human condition rarely change – only the accents. Her songs reflect this, eschewing trite, cliched ‘boy meets girl’ tropes and focusing instead on universal fallibilities, all entwined within her soulful, magnetic vocals and atmospheric musical tapestries. With herself on guitar and aided by Stefan Clarke on bass and production, “Pricking a Witch” is a mesmerising, affecting track which, perhaps appropriately, will get right under your skin.
Heather O’Neill is an artist who revels in finding inspiration in the unlikeliest places: from the outrageous Dreamlanders of John Waters to the cabaret and comedy of Bette Midler, there is both profundity and profanity to be found in her work, as much screenplay and diary as a collection of songs. Heather’s musical world might sometimes be dark but, like “her bible” Harold and Maude, there’s pathos, a knowing look and more than a little tongue-in-cheek running through her lyrics to keep you constantly coming back for more.
A lesson in self reliance