Aunt Ange began as a subconscious entity residing in the heads of boyhood friends Patrick O’Brien and Jack Kearney, and has since evolved into a dark-rock collective: Incorporating visual arts and storytelling into their performances and recordings. The innovative sound combines lush instrumentation and choral harmonies into what Doktor John (Aquarian Weekly Magazine) described as “...Dark and trippy—heavy on concepts of mystery and mortality—Aunt Ange draws on themes that tap into a childlike vision of Grimm fairy tales, set to rock, with elements of early twentieth century musical idiom, and accented with occasional rusty-sounding saxophone riffs...” This ambitious, multi-media project seeks to expose basic human emotions, delivering a universal truth and blurring the lines between the “real” world and “fantasy.”
O’Brien and Kearney, always standing steady like the eye of a storm, began creating music together in 1996 in New York. After nearly a decade of collaborating, they released their first independent record, Fliptop Circus (which was written and performed entirely by the duo), in 2004. The following year, bassist Adam Kushner was added to the mix, and in 2006 they released Apathia. Throughout nearly three years of touring in support of the album, multi-instrumentalists O’Brien and Kearney relied on friends and musical cohorts to fill in their sound, eventually adding Austin Reese (saxophone, guitar, piano) as a permanent member.
Olga Walks Away was release in 2013. Laboriously recorded over 22 months in their home studio, O’Brien and Kearney each learned several new instruments while creating this album, including violin, harmonium, sitar, accordion, indian drums, tabla, dunebec, and ukulele. In addition, all of the choral arrangements were written and recorded by O’Brien, and Reese again contributed saxophone. Aunt Ange added new members Jesse Steffen, on drums, and Dean Hartofilis, on bass, to perform for the release of Olga Walks Away.
"This five-piece combo, 2004 brainchild of richly imaginative frontman, Patrick O’Brien, and guitarist Jack Kearney—whose association dates back a decade earlier—falls into the art-rock category. Dark and trippy—heavy on concepts of mystery and mortality—Aunt Ange draws on themes that tap into a childlike vision of Grimm fairy tales, set to rock, with elements of early twentieth century musical idiom, and accented with occasional rusty-sounding saxophone riffs. The lyrics are cheerfully creepy. The rhythms are mainly syncopated, a device that adds an antiquated feel and that is identified nowadays as “steampunk.” In one song, “Pumpkins and Patches,” the rhythm suggests an anxious heartbeat. Every song seemed to flow on a hypnotic, captivating, almost irresistible cadence. Vocalist O’Brien churns out hallucinatory fairy tales of delirium and spook-house visions, often in an effective, theatrical whisper.”
— Doktor John, The Aquarian Weekly
August 24th, 2016
"Their sound is super unique and very moving. Influenced by bands such Radiohead and Elliot Smith, you can really feel the music in your bones and your soul when these guys play; not to mention the feel-good- feeling you feel from just being in their presence!"
— Linda Swain, Peru/MilkBoy Benefit Concert
July 9th, 2012
Aunt Ange can procure him some great pleasure.”
— Leigh Jerman, Village Voice
“(Best Albums/ Songs of 2013) "...They are all exceptional songs, well played, well orchestrated, amazing lyrically, and although many are hook laden, they resonate with beauty, bone-chilling passion, and real soul. How rare is that in today's musical landscape?"”
— D.j. Yvie, E.V.'s Underground CKCU-FM 93.1
December 28th, 2013