Aoife O'Donovan: Fossils (Yep Roc/Southbound)

 |   |  <1 min read

Aoife O'Donovan: Beekeeper
Aoife O'Donovan: Fossils (Yep Roc/Southbound)

This American singer-songwriter will only be recognised if you read fine print.

She wrote Lay My Burden Down – the opener here – which Alison Krauss recorded a few years back, although she was 10 years in a folk-bluegrass band Crooked Still, and appears on the Goat Radio Sessions alongside classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

She's classically trained herself, but on this, her solo debut, she's firmly in a world between early confessional Joni Mitchell, the largely forgotten and emotionally intense Judee Sill and alt.country where it crosses into Norah Jones territory.

In spacious settings for pedal steel, slightly eerie banjo and unnerving fiddle, sometimes slashing electric guitar and backing vocals, she delivers songs which are adult and poetic.

Briar Rose alludes to Anne Sexton's poem of the same name and incest, there are the fumbles of love on Thursday's Child and the unsettling I'm Alone is about the bitter-sweet prison of a relationship.

O'Donovan sings in a gentle Americana manner but possesses a distinctive style, and when the tempo picks up – the brittle Fire Engine – she can unleash a real punch.

Aoife (pronounced “uu-fee” apparently) O'Donovan is a fresh voice . . . and this is very impressive.

Like the sound of this, then check out this from an unusual source. 

Share It

Your Comments

Jamie Macphail - Aug 15, 2013

Loving this album! Such a leap from Crooked Still, there's a gorgeous feeling of depth and maturity here. This is a lovely live track:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-H8Fy4hAic

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Willard Grant Conspiracy: Bear Witness (CD/DVD, Glitterhouse/Yellow Eye)

Willard Grant Conspiracy: Bear Witness (CD/DVD, Glitterhouse/Yellow Eye)

Those sensible few who caught WGC mainman Robert Fisher when he toured solo last year will need no further urging towards this impressive set which finds him with the "band" of various... > Read more

Paley and Francis: Reid Paley and Black Francis (Cooking Vinyl)

Paley and Francis: Reid Paley and Black Francis (Cooking Vinyl)

After the Pixies split in the early 90s, Black Francis became Frank Black for enjoyable power-pop and post-punk solo albums with odd lyrical content of no fixed direction, and later worked with... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Billy Hart Quartet: One is the Other (ECM/Ode)

Billy Hart Quartet: One is the Other (ECM/Ode)

Although drummer Bily Hart seems to have been around since jazz was a young man -- he's now 73 and played in soul bands behind Otis Redding and others before seriously embarking on the jazz route... > Read more

THE ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: University of Auckland songwriter finalist Shana Llorando

THE ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: University of Auckland songwriter finalist Shana Llorando

Every year Auckland University hosts a showcase for their talented music students. This year in addition to the five finalists for songwriter of the year there are also categories for best... > Read more