Recognised for her ethereal voice and substantive songwriting, Aoife O’Donovan is also known for her collaborations. Called ‘a vocalist of unerring instinct’ by the New York Times, O’Donovan is one of the most sought after vocalists and songwriters of her generation and her career has allowed her to collaborate with some of the most eminent names in music across a wide variety of genres.
The most recent example is I’m With Her, the band comprised of Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and O’Donovan. Their debut album See You Around, released in February 2018, has garnered praise from NPR, who instantly hailed the collection as ‘willfully open-hearted’, and the Guardian called their sound both ‘ethereal and purposeful’.
As a solo artist, O’Donovan has released two studio albums. In the Magic Hour (2016), a 10-song album full of the singer’s honeyed vocals mixed with gauzy, frictionless sounds: splashing cymbals, airy harmonies, and the leisurely baritone musings of an electric guitar. Mojo described the record as ‘exhilarating and exploratory,’ while the New York Times named The King of All Birds one of the Best Songs of 2016. Aoife toured 2016 in support of the album and ended that year releasing a live album, Man In A Neon Coat: Live From Cambridge, with her touring band. Her debut solo album, 2013’s Fossils, is a moody collection of original songs with a country lilt. The record received critical acclaim and was featured on a number of Best of 2013 lists including NPR Music, American Songwriter, New York Magazine and No Depression. In 2018, Aoife contributed an original song titled Are You There to the film What They Had, an official selection at both Sundance and Toronto Film Festivals.
O’Donovan spent the preceding decade as co-founder and front woman of the string band, Crooked Still. She is the featured vocalist on The Goat Rodeo Sessions, the Grammy-winning album by Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Chris Thile, and its one-third of the female trio Sometimes Why. Throughout her career, she has also collaborated with artists such as Alison Krauss and jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas, and is currently a member of the house band on the radio variety show Live From Here.