by Ariana Pekary, producer
Aoife O’Donovan is much beloved in the newgrass-folk-Americana music scene. The genre must be hyphenated these days. Or, you can create your own sub-genre. Aoife’s (pronounced “ee-fah”) first band, Crooked Still, has been called a “progressive bluegrass string band.” Her other band, Sometymes Why, is considered “folk noir.” Aoife helped define those terms in her interview with Bob when she stopped by the Sirius XM performance studio to discuss her new album, Fossils.
“They take a very long time in the making, and it’s not an entirely intentional process.” The album has been forming (simmering) in her mind for more than a decade.
But that’s not all she’s been doing. The singer-songwriter has been busy the last couple of years. You heard Aoife on The Bob Edwards Show about a year and a half ago when she joined Noam Pikelny on their version of Tom Waits’s “Fish and Bird.”
Several years back, Alison Krauss recorded “Lay My Burden Down,” a beautiful song written by Aoife, which is also the lead track on her own new album.
And you may have seen Aoife with the up and coming band, The Goat Rodeo Sessions. It’s an experimental string quartet…featuring Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile. Aoife co-wrote the song “Here and Heaven” with Chris Thile, and she says that they recorded it just as you see in this video, all in a circle around open microphones and with no room for error.
No matter where you’ve heard her voice, you’re not likely to forget it. You also won’t soon forget this naughty little tune she wrote with Sometymes Why. Beware of the very graphic lyrics.