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In this Articulate exclusive, singer-songwriter Aoife O’Donovan performs the traditional American ballad “Lakes of Pontchartrain.”

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Aoife O’Donovan
Aoife O’Donovan

Aoife O’Donovan is a Grammy-winning songwriter, known as the lead singer of folk band Crooked Still and for a celebrated solo career.

O’Donovan was born into an Irish-American family in Boston in 1982 and raised in nearby Newton, Massachusetts. She studied contemporary improvisation at the New England Conservatory of Music, where she met bassist Corey DiMario. Together with two other Boston-area students, the pair formed Crooked Still in 2001, and released their first of five albums, Hop High, in 2004.

O’Donovan began recording as a solo artist in 2010 and put out her debut album, Fossils, in 2013. Her fourth full-length studio recording, Age of Apathy, came out in 2022.

She has collaborated with a variety of acclaimed folk musicians, accompanied Garrison Keilloron on several A Prairie Home Companion tours, and performed with the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Kansas City Symphony, and other classical ensembles. She is a cofounder of all-woman folk supergroup I’m With Her. The trio received a 2019 Grammy Award for Best American Roots Song for the song “Call My Name.”