Rolling Stone


Two excellent indie folk artists tell their restless New York stories


In the decade since Anaïs Mitchell’s last record, the Vermont singer-songwriter created the eight-times-Tony-winning musical Hadestown and joined supergroup Bonny Light Horseman. Her new self-titled LP extends the murky, revelatory folk of the latter, with wistful reflection­s on the passing of time and free-falling in love. “I want everything I want,” she sings on the spellbindi­ng piano ballad “Brooklyn Bridge,” turning a late-night cab ride into something holy. The best song on the latest from fellow New England-raised folkie Aoife O’Donovan is also a meditation on traversing NYC. “B61,” a tune about finding love, however temporary, in Red Hook, Brooklyn, is just one of several stunning moments of textured roots music on her first solo collection since 2016. Amid gentle piano and fluttering guitar, O’Donovan meditates on road-tripping to Neil Young (“Age of Apathy”), finds deep meaning in a rescued bird (“Sister Starling”), and collapses time on “What Do You Want From Yourself?,” a title that sums up this album’s self-searching power. JONATHAN BERNSTEIN

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