"The Crosby, Stills & Nash of the acoustic'n'harmonies renaissance..." **** MOJO
"Harmonies don't come sweeter." **** Q MAGAZINE
Sometymes Why first came to be in the dark, quiet corners of the string band renaissance. Fans of each other's respective stringbands (Uncle Earl, The Mammals, Crooked Still), Andreassen, Merenda, and O'Donovan had performed together in various contexts, both formal and informal, for years. "In 2004," Andreassen recalls, "we went to an afterparty in Brooklyn. I sang 'The Seasick Dawn,' and those two harmonized. It sounded too dreamy to not want to do it again.”
With Sometymes Why, Aoife, Kristin & Ruth create music that moves past the "stringband" label entirely. They sing their own songs and back each other up on Wurlitzer, glockenspiel, high hat & tambourine. They appeal to a part of their audience (and a part of themselves) that's more aligned with Feist, Joni Mitchell, and Bessie Smith than Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys.
Their home-made debut album (a set of rehearsal recordings which they ultimately released) "became a hot item among fans of all three women's regular bands, and not just for its racy semi-novelty track 'Too Repressed,'" says No Depression (referring to O'Donovan's ballad in which she fantasizes about a blue eyed singer in a bluegrass band).
But the band is best heard live. "There's an instantly appealing quality to the trio-harmony blend of their voices, and in live performance they relate to each other with a charm and ease that radiates to the audience," said No Depression, which claimed that Sometymes Why's impromptu Sunday morning set in a parking lot at North Carolina's epic festival Merlefest "stole the show."
Since their first show at the Sidewalk Café in New York City in 2005, Sometymes Why has toured elusively in the Northeast, across Ireland, and joined the Punch Brothers as the opener on two sold out tours.
ABOUT THE ALBUM
Your Heart Is a Glorious Machine is the second Sometymes Why album and the first to be released on the Signature Sounds label. Produced by José Ayerve (Winterpills, Spouse), Glorious Machine finds Sometymes Why taking a step out of the shadows, while continuing to nurture the languorous, luminously intimate pop that first inspired them to pursue their collaboration more intently.
Every moment of Your Heart Is a Glorious Machine is underpinned and illuminated by the palpable warmth and camaraderie of the trio. "It is amazing to be a part of a band that includes two of my closest girl friends," O'Donovan says. "It feels like a sisterhood, a club. It's very cathartic to be singing these original songs that have so much weight in all of our lives, and not to be singing them alone - to sing them together.”
As implied by the title (named for a line in O’Donovan’s haunting “Glorious Machine”), this album resonates with a weathered elegance. Sometymes Why’s vein of richly personal, slow-motion pop is enriched by new sonic elements like electric guitar, Hammond organ, unusual reverbs and echoes, and the clatter of the belfry noisemakers and by more visceral songs such as Merenda’s sly “Aphrodisiaholic” and Andreassen’s ingenious “The Stupid Kiss”. The sounds of an egg-beater and a pan flute both make an unlikely cameo appearance in Andreassen’s “The Sound Asleep” (which can be heard on ABC TV’s show Private Practice - Episode 310).
Every moment of Your Heart Is a Glorious Machine is underpinned and illuminated by the palpable warmth and camaraderie of the trio. “It is amazing to be a part of a band that includes two of my closest girl friends,” O’Donovan says. “It feels like a sisterhood, a club. It’s very cathartic to be singing these original songs that have so much weight in all of our lives, and not to be singing them alone – to sing them together.”
"Seduction can rarely be consciously manufactured. The real deal fills our senses and inspires unreasonable, perhaps even unwise reactions, but lordy it feels good... There's a gorgeous, subtle overlap to this collaboration that suggests nothing less than an estrogen rich answer to early Crosby, Stills & Nash... Early Joni Mitchell is the easy reference point, but Sometymes Why is tougher, less man-handled, more aware of their power and more willing to use it than that legendary waif of the canyon." – JamBase
"Like listening to a dream. Each song sounds as if they were singing only to you." – Modern Acoustic
"A very earthy, organic-sounding album. It never sounds the least bit corporate... and the fact that Sometymes Why are rootsy doesn't mean that they play it safe." – All Music Guide
"These are three very astute modern women, wo are self aware, and nimble of mind, and playful. [Glorious Machine] is a masterpiece of Victorian silk and lace... one of the most beautiful, sensual and at times passionate discs to grace the player in a long time. " – Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
"This is the kind of stuff that could finally blow the door open on a new generation's folk music scare... these sirens are hard to resist." – The Midwest Record
released March 10, 2009
Produced by José Ayerve.
Recorded and Mixed by Max Feldman at Dreamland Studio in West Hurley, NY.
Mastered by Rick Fisher at RFI/CD Mastering in Seattle, WA.
Artwork by Diana Sudyka.
Band photos by Tom Krueger.
Lyrics and additional liner notes can be found in the booklet that comes with an order of the physical CD.