Written by: Alex Green
It’s hard to think of a dreamier combination of voices than the three that comprise the new band I’m With Her.
Made up of Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan, the trio’s debut album See You Around is a clinic of harmonies–a master class set of songs that’s as graceful as it is riveting.
All three women have their own impressive musical pedigrees and their CV’s pack a lot of heat. A mandolin prodigy, the Texas-born Jarosz is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music; Watkins is a founding member of the Grammy Award-winning folk outfit Nickel Creek; and Crooked Still member O’Donovan, whose had her songs covered by Alison Krauss, sang on the Grammy Award-winning 2013 album The Goat Rodeo Sessions.
Put out by Rounder Records, See You Around is a straight up stunner that’s rife with folky finesse, rootsy smarts and pure American elegance.
The title track opens the album and it’s an immediately transformative number that summons summer coastlines and the kind of far away feelings that make memories rush and recede like waves. In other words, this is record that gets you fast and once it gets you, it never lets up. Before See You Around is even half over, there’s the nimble “Game To Lose,” the wrenching and wistful “Pangaea” and the rushing “I-89.”
Later, “Crescent City” is shimmering and perfect; “Close It Down” is rich with pure folk momentum and the album-closing “Hundred Miles” is, simply put, unreasonably perfect.
See You Around is a remarkable listening experience and the blend of I’m With Her’s voices and musicality is one of this young year’s great gifts. This is an album of wisdom and grace–a stirring twelve-song set that somehow apprehends the moment between what we’ve lost and what we yearn for.