BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
After helming the progressive bluegrass band Crooked Still for the past ten years, Aoife O’Donovan has stepped out on her own, a move that’s apparently long overdue given her collaborations with such virtuosos as Yo-Yo Ma, Alison Krauss, Chris Thile, Jim Lauderdale, Kathy Mattea and others of their ilk. Happily though, O’Donovan makes a formidable impression all her own, casting her sound with a celestial sheen that overrides the entire album.
It’s not surprising, given her angelic vocals, and aside from the semi spunky “Fire Engine,” coated with the sweet veneer of pedal steel, and the easy pluck and ramble of “Briar Rose,” Fossils remains uniformly subdued throughout. Yet, it’s hardly as dry as the album title might imply; the wistful embrace of “Red & White & Blue & Gold” emphasizes her sweeter sentiments, while “Pearls,” with it prominent strum and vibrant bass, sounds like an outtake from Joni Mitchell’s Hejira. A solid first outing, it bodes well for her future endeavors.
DOWNLOAD: “Red & White & Blue & Gold,” “Pearls,” “Briar Rose”