Edward O'Connell
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Edward O'Connell

Bethesda, Maryland, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010

Bethesda, Maryland, United States
Established on Jan, 2010
Solo Pop Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Edward O'Connell: "Pop Purity for People Now""

Edward O'Connell, Vanishing Act. Can the swinging scene of Nick Lowe and Elvis Costello circa 1978 live today without sounding dated? Without a doubt, if Edward O'Connell has anything to do with it. His first album released four years ago hinted that something was stirring in our nation's capital, but didn't quite hint what O'Connell has captured today. It's a sneak attack of rock proportions, full of zest and smarts and just plain rock certitude. Without going overboard, the songwriter zaps the synapses of love and luck and everything else that makes life a pulsing puzzle, and does it with an energy that hasn't been quite heard before. For out-of-left-field surprise, color Edward O'Connell pop purity for people now. Nick Lowe would likely approve. - Bentley's Bandstand -- The Morton Report

"Season of Lists: Pure Pop Radio's Favorite Records of the Year"

Edward O’Connell | Vanishing Act Four years on from his 2010 debut, Our Little Secret, Edward O’Connell returns with, not surprisingly, another great record. In our July 10 station update, I wrote that “Vanishing Act is everything a great melodic pop album should be and then some.” Songs include the insanely catchy “My Dumb Luck” (with its George Harrison-esque slide guitar lines), the equally infectious “Severance Kiss,” and “Lonely Crowd,” with a decidedly Tom Petty vibe. With not a single note or clever lyric wasted, Vanishing Act is one of this year’s greatest musical achievements. - Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio

"David Wild: My Pet Sounds"


I know very little about Edward O'Connell -- other than he's the brother of a woman I knew in prep school. Yet somehow this Washington, D.C.-based singer-songwriter has produced two splendid albums in a row - 2010's "Our Little Secret" and now "Vanishing Act." Many of the Classic Rock and Power Pop artists O'Connell has been influenced by would be fortunate to have new songs as strong and memorable as the standouts here, including the opening "My Dumb Luck," "Lonely Crowd" and the title track here. Please don't let this wonderful pop rock act vanish without a listen. - Huffington Post

""This Year's Best Kept Songwriting Secret""

Edward O’Connell – Vanishing Act

By Fred Mills

Tell ya what: if 2011’s Our Little Secret was, well… our little secret—the implied “us” being the oft-insular power pop community of fans and critics—then this D.C. rocker’s new album Vanishing Act will surely put the lie to its titular suggestion. Bursting with sonic buoyancy and lyrical resolve, its dozen tunes make an essential case for Edward O’Connell’s nomination for this year’s best kept songwriting secret.

Track after track here—the heartbeat-thumping gem “Every Precious Day”; sturdy Tom Pettyish jangler “Severance Kiss”; blazing album closer “The End of the Line,” which is surely the best song Nick Lowe never wrote; the stately “Odds Against Tomorrow”—finds its way to earworm status. O’Connell, singing in a voice clearly informed by early exposure to Elvis Costello but tinged with a genial Americana warmth, understands how to make the nuances of the pop-rock format work in his favor, and its how he leavens his material with subtlety and wry humor that leaves the listener nodding and smiling at the sonic bearhug being received.

With additional dips into pedal steel-powered country-rock and ‘60s baroque piano/guitar/strings pop demonstrating O’Connell’s mastery of pretty much every form within reach (regarding the latter, BLURT fave Parthenon Huxley turns up on backing vocals on the title track, which makes for additional reasons to cheer), Vanishing Act ultimately becomes a must-hear. If you’re a true music lover and aficionado of sharp songcraft, don’t be a dummy and pass on this album. - Blurt Magazine

"Edward O'Connell Releases One of the Best Longplayers of 2014"

Edward O’Connell, Vanishing Act: O’Connell creates smart, unaffected guitar-based rock that sounds instantly familiar upon its initial listen. His recently released long-player, Vanishing Act, has a timeless quality to it, as it if could have been released in 1969, 1979, 1989 — well, you get the point. Although nothing on Vanishing Act advances the march of western civilization, O’Connell nevertheless delivers twelve expertly crafted pop tunes that make perfect use of the occasional string, keyboard, horn or pedal steel to add texture and a full, rich sound to the basic guitar-bass-drums approach.

The opening track, the country-tinged “My Dumb Luck,” sets the tone for everything that follows — O’Connell’s strong lead vocals alternating with plush harmonies amid a hook that will stay with you for hours. “Every Precious Day” took me back to the days of driving around college in a 1981 Honda listening to the local alternative rock station, a very good thing indeed.

“I’m The Man” ups the country quotient considerably and, in the grand tradition of a certain branch of that particular genre, repeats its basic hook –“I’m the man that she wants to kill” — several times. The swaying title track has a slightly baroque feel, and features the backing vocals of Parthenon Huxley. Quite naturally, the collection ends with the slightly jangling rocker, “The End Of The Line,” whose pumping, sunny disposition will make your forget, or not even notice, its bleak theme and inherent sadness. It attests wonderfully to O’Connell’s songwriting chops.

Vanishing Act displays O’Connell at the top of his craft. It contains not a single bum track, and its twelve songs ultimately go by in a blink of an eye. It should be available wherever finer music is sold. - Pop That Goes Crunch!

"Vanishing Act -- Edward O'Connell"

There was no sophomore slump for Edward O’Connell! While one can accuse me of being partial to O’Connell’s music because he is another very talented Washington, D.C. area pop musician, I think that pop fans around the world will agree that Vanishing Act is a strong second release. O’Connell channels elements of pop/rock from the past five decades (starting with British Invasion influences) into this superb disc. My favorite tracks are “Every Precious Day,” “Severance Kiss,” “Odds Against Tomorrow” and “Last To Leave.” O’Connell blends superior song-writing, an excellent sense of melody, strong vocals and a primo cast of supporting musicians on this terrific album. The result is a twelve-track disc leaving the listener wishing for more. Long may you run, Sir Edward! - Jangle On! - Pop Geek Heaven

"Edward O’Connell – Vanishing Act"

Edward O'Connell's Our Little Secret was the power pop find of 2010, an assured debut arriving out of nowhere to claim the #3 slot on my year-end list. Four years later he's released the followup, and it strides confidently in the footsteps of its predecessor.

If you missed out on the debut in 2010 or (less likely) forgot about it, O'Connell specializes in Nick Lowe/Tom Petty/Elvis Costello pop'n'roll and Vanishing Act is another 12 tracks of quality. This becomes immediately apparent with the opener "My Dumb Luck", an Elvis C-style track with an effortless melody that aging rock critics would be writing about with reverence had it come out in 1979. "Lonely Crowd" is another winner with a chorus backed by driving, Petty-like guitar, and "What Have You Done?" is a mini-masterpiece with a transcendent middle-eight (or bridge). Elsewhere, fiddle and pedal steel make "I'm the Man" a nice, country-tinged track and the minor key of "Yesterday's World" gives it an early 80s Squeeze/Smithereens feel.

As with the debut, it's almost folly to single out individual tracks as every one of them has something to offer. Speaking of offers, Kool Kat has this disc exclusively before its official release date next week, and they're offering to throw in Our Little Secret with each purchase. Even if you already have the debut, take this deal and give a copy of it to a friend who appreciates good music. - Absolute Powerpop

"Edward O’Connell – Vanishing Act"

We’re thinking that this may well be the year where we will have to, for the very first time, compile a list of favorite melodic pop records–the reason being that there are just so many of them and, well, that’s what we probably should have been doing all along. And near the top of that list will have to sit Vanishing Act, the followup to 2010’s Our Little Secret, a pretty nifty record that started it all, “it all” being the thirst for more Edward O’Connell music. Consider your thirst satisfied. Vanishing Act is everything a great melodic pop album should be and then some. The straight-ahead popper “Severance Kiss,” jangly guitars in the spotlight, is an instant classic with an equally classic melody. Sumptuous slide guitar lines kick off the hooky opener “My Dumb Luck.” The lovely ballad and title track, “Vanishing Act,” serves as the album’s centerpiece. O’Connell’s wondrous vocal is a joy to hear. Really, here is another hall-of-fame kind of album, one that will stay with you all the way down whichever line you walk. O’Connell, a Washington, D.C. songwriter and performer, is a local, should-be national, treasure. And his sense of humor is sharp and tickles the funny bone–the paper bag gag from Our Little Secret is carried over to a photo inside the new album’s package. We’ve added the whole of Vanishing Act, which is now playing in rotation on our air. You rock, Edward O’Connell. And, as ABBA once sang, “Thank you for the music!” - Pure Pop Radio

"Edward O’Connell – Vanishing Act"

Edward O’Connell was “Our Little Secret” back in 2010, and finally we get a follow up with similar results. A smart mix of influences: Tom Petty, Roger McGuinn, Bob Dylan, Warren Zevon and Elvis Costello. Now with a larger cast of supporting players (including P.Hux!) the sound is richer than before, and O’Connell hits his stride here. “My Dumb Luck” is an great opener, a contemporary guitar ear-worm that can live on “repeat.” Next, “Lonely Crowd” is a bit more subdued, but it sends a thoughtful message about his audience. “Every Precious Day” pumps up the jangle, making it a catchy single.

“What Have You Done?” is similar to Elvis Costello in structure, the chord and vocalization shifts makes it another highlight amongst many. “I’m The Man” is a country flavored song about a murderous wife. Like the debut, the musicianship is impeccable but its tough to keep the energy going (“Yesterday’s World”). Still, O’Connell manages to keep the sweetness on the slow tempo “Last To Leave” and put out a great finale “The End Of The Line.” Such effort does not get wasted, and it makes my top ten of 2014 best LP nominee list.

9 (Out of 10) - Power Popaholic

"Exclusive: Edward OConnell CD “Vanishing Act” Due Out July 15"

Back in 2010 singer, songwriter and guitarist Edward O’Connell released Our Little Secret, perhaps the most interesting release of that year. Well folks, like one of Warren Zevon‘s “Werewolves of London” or perhaps the dog from Nick Lowe‘s “Marie Provost”…
He’s baaaaccccckkkkk!
Entitled Vanishing Act, Edward OConnell’s new 12 track release promises to be every bit as hook-filled and jangly as it’s predecessor, with contributions from familiar faces such as Peter Gilstrap (The Neighbors) and North Carolina’s own Parthenon Huxley. It’s best I leave the details to Edward.
“We recorded it at Sucker Punch Studio in the D.C. suburb of Bethesda, Maryland, from November 2013 to April 2014. Fun fact: The studio is located above a nail salon that was busted for prostitution on the first day of recording. So, things got off to an auspicious beginning – and for weeks afterward mystified former customers of the salon would wander down the hall towards the studio, searching in vain for the missing happy endings. The ground floor police tape stayed up for months, until after we had finished the record.
For “Vanishing Act,” we had most of the crew from “Our Little Secret” return, including Buddy Speir on guitars and Jonathan Babu on drums, as well as new arrival (and member of (The President’s Own) United States Marine Band) Jacob Chmara on bass. Jared Bartlett once again was behind the board as ace producer, mixer and engineer. I played acoustic guitar and keyboards. We had a few other guest musicians, including Americana legend Fats Kaplin (who plays pedal steel, fiddle and more with Jack White, Beck and scores of others).
We also had some special backing vocalists, including power pop master (and North Carolina’s own) Parthenon Huxley, D.C. pop-rock kingpins David Kitchen and Todd Wright, Karl Straub and Kennedy Wright.”

Here’s your track list for Vanishing Act:
My Dumb Luck
Lonely Crowd
Every Precious Day
What Have You Done?
Same Old Faces
I’m The Man
Severance Kiss
Odds Against Tomorrow
Yesterday’s World
Last To Leave
Vanishing Act
The End Of The Line
Vanishing Act hits the streets on July 15. Pre-order Vanishing Act at Kool Kat Musik and be the one of the first to get a copy. You’ll also find it at CD Baby, Amazon.com, and iTunes.
My sincere thanks to Edward OConnell for so graciously sharing the details on his newborn baby (the CD). We’ll have more on Vanishing Act very shortly. - Carolina Orange

"**** (Four Stars = “Brilliant!”) A Washington DC Songwriter’s Highly Promising Pop Debut"

It’s probably the best Elvis Costello album that our Declan neglected to make during his early era, full of hooks, guitars that go twang and vocals that sound for all the world like they’ve been ripped from Elvis’ long-lost audio repository. O’Connell, a Washington DC legal eagle, is aided in his powerpop task by a band that includes such guitar-toters as Karl Straub of The Graverobbers and Buddy Speir from The Blackjacks, while youthful producer Jared Bartlett has helped create a sound that echoes that of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers. The album bristles with fine originals, from the opening “Acres of Diamonds,” through to the final reflective, sax-padded “All My Dreams,” a Stiff influence acknowledged in both the Nick Lowe pastiche sleeve and a back-up vocal credit for one Jill Read, O’Connell sticking to the rules and claiming that Read will get paid when deemed contactable.

Fred Dellar
- MOJO (January 2011)


2014 – Vanishing Act  (Oaf Ramp Records)

2010  – Our Little Secret  (Oaf Ramp Records)

Songs also appear on:

2014 – Power Pop Plant Volume 4 (2014) (Pop Geek Heaven Records)

2011 – 27th Annual Mid-Atlantic Song Contest Winners Compilation Album (Songwriters Association of Washington)

2010 – Oasis Roots and Rock Radio Sampler (Volume X:11) (Oasis Disc)

2010 – Oasis Alternative Radio Sampler (Volume X:8) (Oasis Disc)



Edward O'Connell is a Washington, D.C.-based songwriter whose 2010 debut album, Our Little Secret, emerged from out of the blue to glowing reviews from the pop cognoscenti (MOJO: “Brilliant! (Four Stars) – A highly promising pop debut”).

Carrying a tunesmith torch that earned O’Connell comparisons to Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Tom Petty and Warren Zevon, Our Little Secret garnered various songwriting awards and multiple Wammie (Washington Area Music Awards) nominations for O’Connell in 2011, including best new artist, songwriter of the year, best pop rock record, best debut and best pop rock vocalist. Our Little Secret also was short-listed as one of 2010’s Top 10 best releases by PowerPop Overdose, Absolute Powerpop and numerous other music websites.

In 2014, O’Connell released his second album, Vanishing Act, featuring 12 new O’Connell originals. With walls of chiming guitars, surging harmonies and indelible hooks, O’Connell’s Vanishing Act ponders the mysteries of dumb luck, lonely crowds, time’s winged chariot, homicidal spouses and the odds against tomorrow. Vanishing Act has been hailed as a superb disc that "strides confidently in the footsteps of its predecessor" (Absolute Powerpop) and is an early contender for the top ten of 2014 (Power Popahoplic). With the new record warmly received in U.S. power pop circles and internationally in Spain, Scandinavia and other locales, O'Connell has been called "this year's best-kept songwriting secret" (Blurt) and a "local (Washington, D.C.), should-be national, treasure" (Pure Pop Radio). 

For Vanishing Act, O’Connell again teamed with a stellar band of kindred spirits with a particular affinity for vintage popcraft. The record features O’Connell on vocals, acoustic guitars and keyboards, joined by Buddy Speir (The Blackjacks) on guitars, Jonathan Babu (The Grand Candy) on drums, and Jacob Chmara (The Grand Candy, “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band) on bass, with vocal contributions from pop maestros Parthenon Huxley (P. Hux, The Orchestra), Todd Wright (Getaway Car, The Excentrics), David Kitchen (The David Kitchen Band, The Thrillbillys), Karl Straub (The Karl Straub Combo, The Graverobbers) and Kennedy Wright (The Crimestoppers).

Rounding out the lineup on Vanishing Act are multi-instrumentalist Americana legend Fats Kaplin (Jack White, Beck and other credits too numerous to list) on pedal steel, violin and banjo, Nashville string wizard David Henry (Brother Henry),and D.C. stalwarts Chris Watling (The Grandsons) on saxes and Kevin Cordt (Last Train Home, Spottiswoode and His Enemies) on trumpet.

Vanishing Act was produced, mixed and engineered by Jared Bartlett, whose recent production credits include records by Eric Brace, Last Train Home and Luke Brindley, as well as Our Little Secret, and who also contributed guitar and percussion to Vanishing Act.

With a knack for melodic Anglo-American guitar pop in the tradition of The Byrds, Big Star, Tom Petty, Teenage Fanclub and early Elvis Costello, O’Connell has distilled a distinctive blend of chiming guitars, incandescent harmonies, deep hooks and penetrating lyrics conjuring up a timeless past when great pop songs ruled the airwaves.

O’Connell’s encyclopedic knowledge of pop music stretches back to his teenage years as a radio DJ in his native Connecticut, where he managed the Yale University radio station, WYBC-FM, and later worked as a drive-time DJ on Hartford’s flagship heritage underground rock radio station, WHCN-FM. 

O’Connell is a long-time member of the Washington Area Music Association and the Songwriters’ Association of Washington.

Band Members