- 25 Jan 22
The first studio album from Grammy-winning artist Aoife O’Donovan since 2016’s In The Magic Hour, Age Of Apathy is a stunning and soulful record.
Produced remotely by fellow Grammy-winner Joe Henry, the Massachusetts-born singer-songwriter’s third offering is the product of an extraordinarily fertile few months, inspired by her move from New York to central Florida in late 2020. Henry worked to enhance O’Donovan’s demos rather than over-produce them, and so all the acoustic and electric guitars and keyboards are her own. With the addition of drums and bass, and remotely recorded harmonies from the equally talented Madison Cunningham and Allison Russell, the resulting eleven tracks have a beautifully intimate and symphonic sound.
Age Of Apathy unfolds like a photo album of O’Donovan’s life. On the title-track, she references 9/11 as the point when her adulthood began, while she harks back to early-’90s snow days in ‘What Do You Want From Yourself’. There’s a sometimes-nervous questioning about the future too: “Where is what’s good here / And what are we going to make of America?”, she sings on the soaring ‘Elevators’.
O’Donovan’s glorious vocals draw the listener along throughout the entire album, from hypnotic opener ‘Sister Starling’ right through to the gorgeously upbeat ‘Passengers’. The Joni Mitchell comparisons are easy to make, but O’Donovan’s chordal and melodic instincts are her own.
Listen to Age Of Apathy below, via Yep Roc Records: