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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Artist of the Day: Joanna Newsom


Joanna Newsom has been a critical darling since releasing her first album, The Milk-Eyed Mender, in 2004.  Her psych-folk is driven by beautiful harp plucking, setting it apart from its contemporaries. Mixing her non traditional harp playing, lyrics about beetles, sprouts and beans and eerie childlike voice, the 27-year-old creates a sound that is both strange and captivating. 

Mender was followed up by 2006's Ys, an even more inventive offering.  Ys' tracks are centered on a fictional land in France that is destroyed by the sea and features Newsom backed by a full orchestra, adding to the album's epic tone.  This album gained even more critical accliam for Newsom and was included in countless "best of" lists for 2006. 

And since this well-received album, Newsom has given us nothing. Or at least no new albums. It's been three years since the release of Ys, and Newsom has not produced another full length album, although she has debuted new material at a number of shows. And the she's featured in MGMT's "Kids" video.

Newsom just announced yesterday that she'll be back on the musical horse, hitting the road in January for a new tour.  So, there's some good news and some bad news. The bad news is the tour is in Australia.  The good news is this tour may mean a new album is on the way from the singer-songwriter.  Looks like you'll have to stay tuned for more news on future albums and/or U.S. tours from this indie minstrel.

Check her out as she acts the part of a spoiled mom in the "Kids" video:

-Kristen Callihan
currently listening to "Peach, Plum, Pear" by Joanna Newsom 

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