Since forming in 2014, Sara Watkins, Aoife O'Donovan, and Sarah Jarosz of I'm With Her have made themselves known for their gentle yet powerful harmonies and graceful lyrics. Their latest single, "Call My Name" highlights the strength of their connection and takes fans on an imaginative adventure of love through vivid and intentional songwriting.
Before I'm With Her hits the road for their summer tour, we caught up with Sarah Jarosz to talk about inspiration, songwriting, and she's most excited to see at Railbird.
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"They know how to gather round a microphone and sing directly from their heart to yours. Purity is the brilliance behind I'm With Her.” – NPR
Sarah Jarosz: Sara, Aoife, and I decided to become a band largely based on our love of similar music, so for the first year that we existed as a band, we had the chance to work up other people’s songs and arrange them for our trio. I think that year of arranging songs that we didn’t write really helped us when we finally sat down to write our own music… a lot of the same sensibilities of the arranging process carry over into the writing room, like harmony stacking, instrument choices, etc. We would often each separately bring musical ideas to the table and then, either in different combinations of two or all three, we would embellish upon those ideas until the song felt so much like all three of ours that we couldn’t remember who brought the original idea. I think that was our goal in writing songs for this band - to not have it sound like our individual records, but rather, create a new unique sound as a band.
Sarah Jarosz: Aoife and Sara both came to IWH already having experienced the band dynamic. Before IWH, I had always toured under my own name, and while I’ve felt a close sense of camaraderie with the side musicians who play with me, there’s definitely a different vibe when you start "a band." It came at a great time for me - I’ve learned so much getting to be a part of a team. I’ve learned to pay attention and listen in a different way. In many ways, it has a much lighter feeling than solo touring because you get to share the responsibilities of the road. As with anything, there are highs and lows, but the highs are certainly more fun when you get to share them with the people you love.
Sarah Jarosz: I’ve been listening to this Conan O’Brien podcast a lot recently, and he often talks about how his favorite comedy is not needy. I think the best performers and the deepest music come from a place that isn’t needy for attention, but seeks to serve the art in the best way possible. That’s what I hope to accomplish as a performer. Audiences are intuitive and they know when something is genuine.
Sarah Jarosz: Having grown up in Texas, I’m the biggest Robert Earl Keen fan. We also had Billy Strings open some shows for us earlier this year, and he is just such a phenomenal musician and kind spirit. I can’t wait to hear Lucinda Williams again… the lineup is truly magical!