Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Aoife O’Donovan is gearing up for her return to Spoleto Festival USA in June, but critics are already raving about her new album All My Friends, proving that the anticipation is well-deserved.  


Inspired by the letters and speeches of suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt, All My Friends ponders the nation’s evolution in the century since women won the fight for the right to vote. 

The nine tracks on the album build a rich, expansive sound upon the singer-songwriter’s harmonious and contemplative trademark style. Conceived and recorded as an orchestral venture, the album’s ambitious scale and anthemic quality reflects its themes, with songs inspired by the life and mission of Chapman Catt, whose work O’Donovan discovered in 2019. A commission to celebrate the centenary of the 19th amendment, which first granted American women the right to vote, led O’Donovan to Chapman Catt’s letters and speeches, whose words, she says, “felt timeless”. Some of the suffragist’s oratory is incorporated verbatim in the lyrics, including the evergreen question: “What is the democracy for which the world is battling?” 

In a Presidential election year, O’Donovan’s record is a cry to women to reclaim their voice, and their rights. “Once in a lifetime the power is ours,” she sings in “Over The Finish Line”, “but we’d rather stare at our phones.” As Chapman Catt once put it: are we prepared to grasp the victory? 

Aoife O’Donovan will perform with members of the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra in the College of Charleston Sottile Theatre on Friday, June 7 at 7:00pm. Get tickets here. 

Reviews for All My Friends: 

Folk Alley: “All My Friends dazzles in its cinematic scope and intimate warmth, and these songs provide spiritual sustenance for women who find themselves struggling with many of the same issues that Chapman Catt confronted over 100 years ago.” 

The Bluegrass Situation: “She’ll wrap you in the gauze and glitter of her one of a kind voice and, in doing so, prepare you ever so gently and kindly to receive the messages in her lyrics – however demonstrative or abstract they may be.” 

Watch Aoife perform “Someone to Follow” from the album on the Kelly Clarkson Show: