Review: I’m With Her – “See You Around” (2018)


Damian enjoys the new one from this supergroup

I’m With Her are a kind of folk supergroup featuring multiple Grammy Award winner Sarah Jarosz, Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek) and Aoife O’Donovan (Crooked Still). Their debut album called `See You Around` has been co-produced by the band and Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Laura Marling, Paul McCartney) and was recorded at Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studios in Bath, England.

Each member playing guitar and handling various aspects of the instrumentation, including fiddle and ukulele for Watkins, mandolin and banjo for Jarosz, piano and synth for O’Donovan, the band cut most of the album live.

Opening track and album title ` See You Around` is a deep, gentle and very pleasing introduction to this offering. Gentle guitar with the girls` rich harmonies, that sort of leaves you with a warm glow inside.

`Game To Lose` starts gently with some fiddle strings and plucked banjo, which leads you into a false sense of security before the song takes a little bit of a more cutting edge. The lyrics are almost questioning life but are quite uplifting.

I really loved the next song `Ain’t That Fine’ It was really reflective had some great lyrics, mesmerizingly heart-breaking vocals and some wonderful harmonies on the chorus. Wonderful.

Another philosophical track follows with `Pangaea` and again the music is beautifully layered to support the wonderful vocal harmonies. I`d never heard of Pangaea, but a quick internet search assured me that it was a supercontinent that existed during the late Paleozeoc and early Mesozoic eras. It assembled from earlier continental units approximately 335 million years ago, and it began to break apart about 175 million years ago. I`m sure it had nothing to do with the song but nevertheless it set me thinking!

Another tune I loved was “I-89” which I’m led to believe is the Interstate 89 highway in the North Eastern United States travelling from New Hampshire to the Canadian border just under 200 miles in length

The lyrics “If there was another way out I’d take it” seems to be about a break up of sorts. The words forceful almost defiant.

We get a wonderfully atmospheric song with `Wild One` evocative vocals over a simple but so effective strummed guitar. I felt the instrumental `Waitsfield` was a more traditional country music offering, I could imagine a film with a saloon bar scene and this being played in the background.

`Ryland (Under The Apple Tree) ` is a melancholic piece with stripped back vocals and some delightfully almost laid-back guitar and fiddle bringing the best out of this song, The uplifting and thought provoking `Overland` is as near to an anthem as dammit. Very inspirational in ways.

The upbeat `Crescent City` is a dreamy, wistful tune with a cracking fiddle solo midway through the song, which is reprised throughout. The penultimate piece is the evocative and compelling `Close It Down` the harmonies on the vocals are to die for. The album is closed out with the never released Gillian Welch-penned “Hundred Miles” A stripped back number with the girl`s voices in sync over some enthralling fiddle, banjo and something that sounded like a mellotron or something close. A fitting way to close out the album.

I really enjoyed this release, `See You Around` is a warmly textured, yet stripped-down sound at times.

The songs were a mix of country, folk, gospel, bluegrass and Americana with some heartfelt lyrics, stunning vocal harmonies complimenting each other throughout. A rewarding and thought-provoking listen

Rating 9 /10

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