Song: Porch Light
Album: In the Magic Hour
Performer: Aoife O’Donovan
Writer: Aoife O’Donovan
My first time hearing Aoife O’Donovan sing was back in 2011 on The Goat Rodeo Sessions. I was re-introduced to her music within the last couple years when a friend recommended to me her band Crooked Still. I absolutely fell in love with her voice. It is soft but powerful in her delivery of lyric.
Her second solo album, In the Magic Hour, was released on January 22nd of this year. The day is important to me. On this day, Nashville had a snow storm and classes and work were cancelled. I woke up at about 4am that morning and I felt like I was a child back in Missouri waiting for the good news about a snow day. I was so surprised to see that this album had been released and listened to the whole thing. This was the first song I listened to and it will forever transport me to that magic morning when mine were the first footsteps across the perfect, untouched snow.
This song is haunting to me. It begins with just Aoife and finger-picking style guitar. Fiddle, steel guitar swells, and light percussion help to fill out the song soon after. The song is very interesting rhythmically. It moves seamlessly between bars of 4 and 2 creating sometimes jagged phrasing. Not jagged in a bad way… it almost reminds me of the way that Stanley Kubrick used abrupt transitions in The Shining to create uneasiness and build tension for the viewer.
It is a song that will forever define my “magic hour” during my senior year of college – that moment somewhere between endless hope and standing too near the edge of madness.