Photo Courtesy of Artist
Press Play At Home: Watch Aoife O'Donovan's Smoldering Performance Of "Phoenix"
Irish-American singer/songwriter Aoife O'Donovan delivers a moving rendition of "Phoenix," the lead single from the GRAMMY winner’s latest album, 'Age of Apathy'
Sometimes all that's needed to stir up emotions are a guitar and a voice. GRAMMY winner Aoife O'Donovan is excellent proof of this with her acoustic performance of "Phoenix" for her episode of Press Play At Home.
The Irish-American folk singer/songwriter made "Phoenix" the lead single from her latest album, Age of Apathy, which was released earlier this year. As O'Donovan explained upon the song’s release last year, she wrote the moving track after stumbling upon the opening line ("Time's not the villain coming up behind you is a marigold sun") in an old note on her computer. "'Phoenix' is truly an ode to my own muse," she said.
O’Donovan has been releasing music since 2004, beginning as the frontwoman of bluegrass group Crooked Still and simultaneously performing in the contemporary/neo-traditional folk trio Sometymes Why. Forming another folk trio, I’m With Her, with Sara Watkins and Sarah Jarosz in 2015, O'Donovan won a GRAMMY for Best American Roots Song in 2020 for the group’s hit "Call My Name."
Age of Apathy marks O'Donovan’s third solo LP. Along with her bands, the Boston-born singer has been releasing her own music since 2010’s Blue Light EP.
Watch her heartfelt performance of "Phoenix" above, and make sure to visit GRAMMY.com every Thursday for new episodes of Press Play At Home.
Press Play At Home: Watch Dodie Perform A Morning-After Version Of "Four Tequilas Down"
In the latest episode of Press Play At Home, singer/songwriter dodie conjures a bleary last call in a hushed performance of "Four Tequilas Down"
"Four Tequilas Down" is as much a song as it is a memory—a half-remembered one. "Did you make your eyes blur?/So that in the dark, I'd look like her?" dodie, the song's writer and performer, asks. To almost anyone who's engaged in a buzzed rebound, that detail alone should elicit a wince of recognition.
Such is dodie's beyond-her-years mastery of her craft: Over a simple, spare chord progression, she can use an economy of words to twist the knife. "So just hold me like you mean it," dodie sings at the song's end. "We'll pretend because we need it."
In the latest episode of Press Play At Home, watch dodie stretch her songwriting muscles while conjuring a chemically altered Saturday night—and the Sunday morning full of regrets, too.
Check out dodie's hushed-yet-intense performance of "Four Tequilas Down" above and click here to enjoy more episodes of Press Play At Home.
Press Play At Home: Francisca Valenzuela Performs Her Courageous Feminist Paean "La Fortaleza"
The outspoken Chilean singer/songwriter Francisca Valenzuela sings of womanhood and will to power
For Francisca Valenzuela, feminism isn't a radical notion, but a self-evident truth. The daughter of two renowned Chilean scientists, she's published muscular, experiential poetry (like her 2000 book, Defenseless Waters, which she published in her early teens) and founded Ruidosa, a festival, platform and community that elevates female voices.
In this episode of Press Play At Home, Valenzuela sings "La Fortaleza," which contains her worldview in microcosm. "Everything that has happened has led me to today," she sings in Spanish. "I look ahead to the horizon and I bury the guilt and leave/I pack a suitcase, take a deep breath and don't look back/Setting sun, rising sun will accompany me."
Check out Francisca Valenzuela's riveting performance of "La Fortaleza" above, and watch other episodes of Press Play At Home.
Aaron Lee Tasjan
Press Play At Home: Aaron Lee Tasjan's Playful Performance Of "Computer Of Love"
"Some advanced technology is eating through my brain," Tasjan laments at the start of the lively folk-rock song
In the latest episode of Press Play At Home, Nashville-based singer/songwriter Aaron Lee Tasjan offers a playful yet piercing take on technological dependency in his performance of "Computer of Love."
"Some advanced technology is eating through my brain," Tasjan laments at the start of the lively folk-rock song. Watch his full performance below.
Featured on his forthcoming, genre-bending album, Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan!, out Feb. 5, 2021, the song references the disconnection caused by technology and social media and the emotional barriers they create within and between people.
Chika Drops Stripped-Down Version Of "Balencies" For Press Play
The Alabama rapper gives an intimate performance of her song "Balencies" from her major label debut EP 'Industry Games'
Chika is having a breakout year, no matter how you look at it. Born Jane Chika Oranika in Montgomery, Ala., the first-generation Nigerian-American rapper was named to XXL Magazine's 2020 Freshman Class. And it's easy to see why:
The self-described "professional truth-teller" with "a pen that's tactical," Chika shines in the latest edition of Press Play At Home, delivering an intimate version of "Balencies" from her major label debut EP Industry Games.
"The time that went into 'Industry Games,' was a year of my life, last year specifically," she recently told The Recording Academy. "I think that I fleshed out a lot more about myself with this project. You get more of my thought process, and the way my brain actually works––I get to share how crazy and hectic it gets in my brain sometimes. [Laughs.] You hear me versus my ego on it, and what that sounds like for me to be this soft-spoken person, but having a bigger ego, and having to defend certain words."
"Balencies," produced by Lido, also features production elements chosen by her puppy, Vision, who gets a nice shoutout in one of her verses. Chika's soulful, poetic lyricism shows her poetry slam roots and the influence of her southern upbringing in the church, which had a strong musical influence on her style.
Enjoy Chika's very personal performance of "Balencies" and stay tuned for more outstanding original music from GRAMMY.com's Press Play series.