For nearly two decades as ilyAIMY (i love you And I Miss You), Rob Hinkal and Heather Aubrey Lloyd have played everything from bait shops to biker weeks to clothing-optional resorts nationwide. They engage audiences with humor and award-winning narrative songs that pair an unforgettably soulful and powerful female vocalist with a percussive, clawhammer-like guitarist. Their infectious energy and rapid-fire lyricism is softened with cello and lush harmony, making ilyAIMY "a welcome jolt" and "an acoustically roiling, combustible attack on the usual singer/songwriter fare," say reviewers. Their energetic brand of new folk earned honors from Kerrville NewFolk, the National Association for Campus Activities, the Northeast and Southeast Regional Folk Alliances and the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. They are repeat Washington Area Music Association Winners for Best Contemporary Folk Group.
The last few years have been ilyAIMY's most exciting. Heather returned from backing Dar Williams' Promised Land Tour. The band added cellist Kristen Jones, now part of the touring trio. Rowan Corbett became a full member of The Carolina Chocolate Drops and toured extensively with Rhiannon Giddens. In 2017, Heather released her CD, "A Message in the Mess," winning the Director's Award for Album of the Year from the Mid-Atlantic Song Contest. She went on to take Most Wanted Artist at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival and in 2019 won the $10,000 Grand Prize Bernard Ebb Songwriting Award. ilyAIMY released its 10th CD, "Cicada," with plans to return to the studio in 2020.
Among fans, Pat Wictor of folk supergroup Brother Sun, and former Northeast Regional Folk Alliance President, Cheryl Prashker:
"IlyAIMY ain't your grandpa's folk music - and thank goodness," says Wictor. "They are fearless writers and performers. Heather Lloyd's voice is enough for me. Voices this rich and emotionally hard-hitting - equal parts velvet darkness, barely contained heartbreak, and hard-won, unstoppable joy - don't come around often. Sing me the phone book - I'll ask for an encore."
"Being partial to their amazing and unstoppable rhythm as well as their sheer originality, I see ilyAIMY being a force in our community for a very long time!" says Prashker.
HONORS & AWARDS
--GRAND PRIZE WINNER -Bernard Ebb Songwriting Award*
--SERFA -Formal Showcase
--Nat'l Women's Music Fest -New Artist*
--Falcon Ridge Folk Fest -Most Wanted*
--Telluride Folk Fest -(4th) Troubadour*
--Mid-Atlantic Song Contest -Director's Award, Album of the Year*
--Rocky Mtn. Folks Fest -Hon. Mention*
WASHINGTON AREA MUSIC AWARDS -Best Contemp. Folk/Acoustic ‘14, '15, '16
OTHER CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
--American Songwriter Mag. Lyric Contest -2016 Hon. Mention
--Northeast Regional Folk Alliance -2011 DJ Showcase & 2012 Formal Showcase
--Falcon Ridge Folk Fest -2011 Emerging Artist 2011 & 2012 Most-Wanted
--National Association for Campus Activities -2010 Mid-Atlantic Formal Showcase
--Lilith Fair -2009 DC Talent Search Finalist
--Eddie's Attic Acoustic Shootout -2009 Finalist
--Kerrville Folk Festival -2005 NewFolk Finalist**
--Mountain Stage Newsong Fest -2005 Semifinalist
*Heather Aubrey Lloyd **Rob Hinkal Recognized Songwriter