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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.
Photo: Courtesy of Marcus King
Press Play At Home: Marcus King Delivers Blazing, Bluesy "Pain" In A Parking Garage Jam Session
Marcus King pays tribute to his favorite classic rock trios in this soulful performance, which features a '70s flair, a whiplash-inducing guitar solo and a pair of classic cars as a backdrop.
Rising rock singer Marcus King may only be in his 20s, but when it comes to his taste in music, he's an old soul. He learned his first musical lessons from his blues-rocker dad, and he cites his earliest memory as the time he opened up his dad's guitar case as a child and strummed the strings of an Epiphone El Dorado.
Now, as a singer/songwriter and guitarist himself, King expertly blends his classic rock and blues inspirations into his original music — most recently on his upcoming album, Young Blood, due Aug. 26. The project was produced by Dan Auerbach, who King also teamed with to write "Pain," a bluesy and fast-paced rock track that puts the singer's classic influences front and center.
In this episode of Press Play At Home, King and his three-piece band head to a parking garage for a grungy, searing performance of the track. From classic cars in the background to the outfits and visual aesthetics, vintage vibes are abundant — but it's the music itself that truly embodies the spirit of '70s rock.
"Pain" is just one example of the "classic power trio" sound that King strived for with Young Blood. He drew inspiration from musical idols like ZZ Top, Grand Funk Railroad and Black Sabbath, as well as his favorite films GoodFellas and Raging Bull. "We tried to make the music feel big," King explains in a press release, "like you’re seeing it in a theater."
Though the music takes plenty of cues from legendary acts from the past, King's blend of soul, rock, blues and country is uniquely his own. The GRAMMY nominee’s unmistakable raspy tenor crests over the instrumental lines and puts the singer/songwriter's signature stamp on the performance.
Press play on the video above to watch King's blistering performance of "Pain," and keep checking back to GRAMMY.com for 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.