Album Of The Week: Aoife O’Donovan Celebrates Democracy and Womanhood on New Solo Album ‘All My Friends’

Grammy-Award winner Aoife O’Donovan has released her new solo album, All My Friends , today.

The 9-song collection – O’Donovan’s first self-produced LP – is inspired by the passage of the 19th amendment and the evolving landscape of women’s rights in America over the past century.

Album of The Week: Aoife O’Donovan Celebrates Democracy and Womanhood on New Solo Album ‘All My Friends’

As O’Donovan recently explained in an interview with Jezebel, she measures her own perspective as a woman and mother in the present, against those of the past across the album, specifically the perspectives of the suffragettes who paved the way for women today. She artfully draws on speeches and letters by Carrie Chapman Catt , founder of the League of Voters, to write intricately filigreed new, original songs infused with modern viewpoint. Amidst a lush, genre-blurring soundscape featuring brass, orchestra, girls’ choir, and O’Donovan’s own “stunning” (Rolling Stone) voice, All My Friends wrestles with questions of what has – and hasn’t – changed for American women in the 100 years since gaining the right to vote. 

O’Donovan has unveiled the official music video today for “Someone To Follow,” a declaration of hope for the future, featuring Noam Pikelny on banjo and Rob Burger on accordion. “As I sketched out the song further, I realized I was also singing to my own daughter, calling for her to be a leader, to achieve greatness and be whole,” says O’Donovan. Watch the music video, directed by Caitlin Gerard, here

Earlier this week, O’Donovan performed the single on NBC’s The Kelly Clarkson Show . Watch the moving performance here

All My Friends – co-produced by O’Donovan, Eric Jacobsen and Darren Schneider – was mostly recorded at Full Sail University in Orlando by Schneider, Brooklyn Recording in Brooklyn and Power Station in Manhattan. The album was mixed by Schneider and mastered at Chicago Mastering by Bob Weston and features a number of special guests including Anaïs Mitchell, Sierra Hull, Noam Pikelny, The Knights, The Westerlies, The San Francisco Girls Chorus, Alan Hampton, Griffin Goldsmith and more. Most of the songs on the album grew out of two commissions O’Donovan took on – from the Orlando Philharmonic where she now lives, and the FreshGrass Foundation in her native Massachusetts. Following performances with both institutions, O’Donovan continued to explore the themes that would become All My Friends in full. Read more about the commissions via No Depression here

O’Donovan hopes the collection will empower the next generation to use their voices for positive change. “It is my firm belief that voting and participation in democracy is not political. It is your civic duty. As American citizens we owe it to ourselves and our neighbors to be active participants in the society in which we live,” she recently explained to WGBH Morning Edition . “It is an intense time to be a woman in America. It’s shocking to me, especially as the mother of a daughter, that every morning I turn on the news and see these stories of our rights – which we did feel were solidified – being taken away from us. But I urge people to educate themselves, to vote, to participate, to go outside and be the change that we want to see.”

The project follows O’Donovan’s 3x GRAMMY nominated 2022 album Age of Apathy , which NPR named “a moving self-portrait,” and No Depression called “an astounding accomplishment.” In addition to appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live, CBS Saturday Morning, Kelly Clarkson and PBS Newshour, Pitchfork said O’Donovan “taps into the propulsion of prime Joni Mitchell,” while The New York Times praised the album’s “musical surprises: daring melodic leaps, unexpected chord progressions, [and] subtle rhythmic shifts.” Following the release of Age of Apathy , O’Donovan also recorded and toured behind a full album reinterpretation of Bruce Springsteen’s landmark Nebraska album, with performances at Newport Folk Festival, Tønder Festival, and more. While Age of Apathy centered around coming to terms with indifference, All My Friends reminds us of the power of collective action. 

All My Friends is available digitally today and on CD and multiple colored LP versions, representing the colors of the women’s suffrage movement: violet for loyalty, green for hope, and gold for purpose. The standard LP is pressed on Violet color vinyl.


The indie/D2C only version has alternate cover art and is pressed on Ochre/gold color vinyl with an autographed insert. In addition, Magnolia Record Club has an exclusive version with standard cover art pressed on Green vinyl with an autographed insert.

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