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Sometymes Why

Sometimes Why – 2005 (Self-released)

Reviewed by Jacquilynne Schlesier

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Sometimes Why (now Sometymes Why) brings together Kristin Andreassen, Ruth Ungar and Aoife O'Donovan, adding to their already extensive list of projects, side projects and collaborations that includes Uncle Earl, The Mammals and Crooked Still respectively. They blend traditional folk themes of life and death with quiet, coffee house intimacy with the writing very personal, even claustrophobic.

Each member takes lead vocals on the songs they wrote. Andreassen has a conversational approach to her tracks, while Ungar's vocals are the most straightforward and thus the most powerful. O'Donovan's contributions are thin and wispy. She tries to sharpen up for 'Too Repressed' - an R-rated dirge that seems more misplaced than shocking - but the wispiness floats back in.

A quick recording session - the whole album took less than two days - leaves the album with the slightly loose feel of a live recording. The multitude of instruments each of the women brings to the table partially fills out the sound, but the arrangements remain fairly sparse.

The feather light production and waifish vocals contrast with the intensity of the lyrics