Art Beyond Boundaries: Andrew Neil’s Songwriting Is as Authentic as It Gets

Andrew Neil
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Andrew Neil Maternick is a one-of-a-kind outsider music artist who has overcome great adversity to follow his passion for music. Under his music persona, Andrew Neil, he is included in Ranker’s List of Best Outsider Music Artists, thanks to his ground-breaking album, Code Purple. This album is a testament to Andrew’s talent and his bravery in embracing the unconventional. With all the songs written and recorded in a State Mental/Psychiatric Hospital, Code Purple stands out as a unique piece of art in the music industry.

Born in 1988 in Colorado Springs, Maternick  was a talented athlete and was recruited to attend the US Military Academy West Point. But after a car accident in 2009 left him with a traumatic head injury and a struggle with serious mental illness, he found solace in songwriting, which he began doing out of nowhere

Despite never having played a cover song and not knowing basic chords, Andrew Neil taught himself to play the keyboard and guitar by making his own chord shapes to write songs. In 2013, a bad psychotic episode led to a three-year stay in Western State Hospital located in Staunton, VA, where he wrote and recorded nearly 100 songs within the solitary confines of his hospital room. When he was conditionally released in May 2017, Andrew Neil decided to release an album of selected songs he wrote during his time as a psychiatric patient. He aptly named this  album, Code Purple, which was a term used by the hospital to alert security about patients who were acting out or causing disruption. Although he did not know this at the time, “Code Purple” would be one of the first full albums ever released in which all the tracks were both written and recorded in a State Psychiatric Hospital.  

In 2018, he teamed up with Charlottesville-based music producer Andy Waldeck, who helped him record several studio albums, including Merry Go Round (2018), Freak (2019), Sunny Side (2021), and Alien (2022) 

Despite being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Cancer in 2019, Andrew continued to write and record music, showing a resilience and determination that has earned him recognition as one of the best outsider songwriters. His music, influenced by grunge and shoegaze, has received excellent reviews.  Both Merry Go Round and Freak made it onto the College Radio Charts.

Andrew’s love for music is not limited to just the music itself; he places equal importance on the cover art. His brother Kyle Scott Maternick, an abstract artist, has created the cover art for Andrew’s Code Purple and Freak albums. The rising Bostonian Pop artist Daniel Benayun painted the cover art for Merry Go Round, Sunny Side and Alien. 

Andrew Neil plans on releasing two albums in 2023. “The Trip,” is scheduled to be released in the late Spring of this year, while his Alt-Country album, In the Country, is set to be released in the late Summer, early Fall. Most of the tracks for this album are scheduled to be recorded in Nashville at the legendary Hilltop Recordings Studios. A book titled Kind of Hurt is also in the works, documenting Andrew’s battle with mental illness and cancer and how music has played a significant role in his life.

Andrew’s music is available on all digital streaming platforms, CD and limited-run vinyl, with each album pressed in limited quantities. The popularity of Andrew’s music is growing on a national and even international scale, with fans eagerly awaiting his next release.

In conclusion, Andrew is a true musical maverick with a passion for creating music that transcends boundaries and touches the hearts of listeners. His innovative approach to music and the cover art that accompany his albums make him a standout artist in the world of outsider music. With two more albums planned for 2023, Andrew is sure to continue to captivate audiences with his unique sound and raw emotion.

 

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