... is an Austrian-born, now Brooklyn-based singer and songwriter, who has made a name for herself as a highly unique and versatile voice. She has been praised by the press -- from the New York Times to NPR's "A Blog Supreme," and Le Monde in France -- as a "trailblazer," and "natural wonder."
Maria has released three well-received albums under her own name. While the style of her music used to be heavily influenced by jazz and modern classical, she decided to change direction after 'Unison', her latest Sunnyside release. Her new songs are best described as indie pop, and she is currently finishing her fourth album, with the help of producers Jon Cowherd (Brian Blade & the Fellowship) and Steve Wall (Lucius, Meshell Ndegéocello). The album can be pre-ordered on Pledgemusic.
Her Electro Pop project Milán, under which name she has released two EP's, has been remixed by such trendsetting producers as Kissey and Pax Humana, and her music video for '25' by animation film maker Nina Pfeifenberger was screened at the 2015 Cannes International Shortfilm Festival.
Maria has also lent her voice to countless other artists' projects, such as: four-time Grammy award winner Erykah Badu, composer Ted Hearne and the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, HipHop producer Mesta Bish, Indie Rock artist David Bronson and Drum/Tabla virtuoso Dan Weiss.
Selected press quotes:
“...clear-water tones.” – Ben Ratliff, The New York Times
“... a jazz singer of composure and purpose.” – Nate Chinen, The New York Times
“...a vocalist whose compositions are informed by unconventional phrasing and a striving for serenity.” - Patrick Jarenwattananon, NPR’s a blog supreme
“a natural wonder” — Sylvain Siclier, Le Monde, France
“a valiant trailblazer” — Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes
"[Her] fecund creativity emerges from a genre-blurring sensibility that spans jazz, pop, rock, opera, musical theater and sacred hymns... She has found eager and superbly gifted copilots. Led by Neckam's crystalline soprano, they travel to some remarkable places, many not of this earth, several influenced by her conversion to Buddhism.... Every Neckam voyage is a wild one." — Christopher Loudon, JazzTimes
“Neckam functions as a coequal instrumentalist and deft storyteller, using a clear fluid voice to convey raw emotions with philosophical detachment. She dresses the stories with an impressive array of compositional and orchestrative strategies. Some evoke the autobiographical clarity of Joni Mitchell. Three duos with cellist Mariel Roberts nod to the art songs of Mahler and Schoenberg. Another three pieces frame poems by Hafez, Pablo Neruda and Rainer Maria Rilke. Others refract the rhythmic, harmonic and performative pathways established by stars such as Brad Mehldau and Luciana Souza. Whether rendering a lyric or a wordless melody, Neckam unfailingly follows her line, traversing the tricky time feels with confidence and grace.” — Ted Panken, DownBeat
“Lovely.” – John Schaefer, New Sounds, WNYC
“...idiosyncratic jazz riffs and haunting pop hooks.” — Jaime Cone, New York Daily News
“It's not often that a singer like Maria Neckam comes along. Blessed with a voice that she can set free as it flutters and streaks into stellar regions of music, Neckam is still able to keep it in control. She has a natural ability for heartbreaking emotion, in much the same way that Billie Holiday did.” — All About Jazz
“It’s going to be difficult for her listeners to avoid finding her irresistibly charming.” — PopMatters
“****Four stars. Neckam writes all of her own material and delivers it in a sweet, pure soprano that belies the dark sophistication of her lyrics... A collection of finely crafted songs that range from angular downtown jazz to poetic duets with cello to catchy indy-style numbers.” — Cormac Larkin, The Irish Times
“*****Five stars. ... this album [Unison] is simply genius.“ — Jazz Forum, Poland
“Her voice becomes a precious instrument that allows her to heighten her expressiveness and to engage in dialogue with
the instrumental and rhythmical voices around her, painting scenarios of pure beauty.” — All About Jazz Italia
“The Austrian artist fuses Scandinavian, Indian and Japanese elements into a music that elates through its freshness and emotional depth.” — Jazzpodium, Germany