Aoife O’Donovan, ‘In the Magic Hour’


Aidin Vaziri | Aoife O’Donovan’s song “Red & White & Blue & Gold” popped up on one of President Obama’s handpicked summer playlists on Spotify, earning a spot between Al Green and Lauryn Hill. With the release of her second full-length recording, “In The Magic Hour,” it’s easy to hear why the Brooklyn folk singer-songwriter caught the ear of the commander in chief. The low-key arrangements and austere ballads here, such as “Porchlight” and “The King of All Birds,” cast a sweet, soothing spell. The album, produced by Tucker Martine (the Decemberists) and featuring guests like mandolinist Chris Thile (Nickel Creek), draws from O’Donovan’s memories of spending summers at her late grandfather’s seaside home in Clonakilty, Ireland, providing the perfect soundtrack for diffusing even the most intense world crisis.