Formed sometime (sometyme?) around 2005 Sometymes Why (not to be confused with the Canadian alt.rock band, and better spellers, Sometimes Why) – Kristin Andreassen (vocals, harmonica, guitar, glockenspiel, tambourine), Aoife O’Donovan (voice, baritone ukulele, Wurlitzer, piano, guitar, soprano ukulele, glockenspiel) and Ruth Ungar Merenda (voice, fiddle, soprano ukulele, guitar, baritone ukulele, glockenspiel) – work territory currently being staked out by Uncle Earle, The Waifs, the currently on hiatus Nickel Creek and also in the hushed-delivery styling the Cowboy Junkies’ Margot Timmons.
Less sawdust-covered floors and canned beer and more tasteful rugs crafted by indigenous peoples and a nice Chablis, the folky-Americana sound of Sometymes Why displays a DIY aesthetic of making music they feel in their soul. The sound and production (a la José Ayerve) is warm and even a cover of Concrete Blonde’s Joey works well (and I’m not a fan of the original.)
The blessing and curse of the Americana genre is that the tent tends to be so big that it’s hard to pin down what it is but that is only a result of contemporary marketing trickery. Many of those various musical strains share a common ancestry of American immigrants and many are reflected and synthesized here to great effect. At 35 minutes Your Heart Is a Glorious Machine is a brief example of what it’s like when the cutting edge is both brave and beatific.