This is a very interesting comment. Listening to Joanna is exhausting, but in a good way. One of the most rewarding things about her songs is following how the arrangements subtly mirror the lyrical narrative, and that can be quite difficult to do, especially considering how long her songs are. I don’t think I can just put on her records in the background and enjoy it as much, like, say Aphex Twin.
Would love to listen to her on my mobile device or work laptop today through a streaming service. Got the vinyl but in another room/effort
God help us if there’s a war.
Will my record player get conscripted?
Have Five On Me
you guys know YouTube exists for streaming right
Think I’m so adverse to adverts that I’d rather not
you know you can skip adverts right
Maybe will just have a quick listen to Baby Birch, quick cry, then on with my day
Easy 5 for me. Beautiful music and - whatever you think or her voice (or music for that matter; I love both) - she is totally original, doing her thing, her way. Frankly, not many others out there you can say that about … so kudos to her for keeping it real (do people still say things like that?). I love her stuff, but would give her 5 out of respect for what she does and how she does it.
Looking forward (but more in hope than expectation) to album number 5 now. More than 5 years since Divers, amazingly.
Only started listening to her in the last few months but I can easily see her becoming a favourite of mine. I love her vocals so much, I can always feel my heart snap at the “and miss/and miss/and miss” part of Cosmia. 5.
Joanna Newsom is on Apple Music if anyone wants to make a life change.
I have this with Dashboard Confessional
Best comment I’ve seen on a Joey Newie youtube vid was someone saying “I’d hate to play Scrabble against her”
Did some absolutely excellent harp on Lookaftering by Vashti Bunyan too, which I recommend to any Newsom fans.
Actually, @anon19035908 is Vashti big enough for a HGATR sometime?
Anyway, she’s the fiviest five that ever fived. One of my all time favourite artists old and new, and despite not being as bothered by Divers her work over Ys & Have One On Me (and most of Milk Eyed Mender) pretty much gives her immunity status as far as I’m concerned. Not that I think she will, but she could churn out diminishing returns for the rest of her career (if she ever decides to grace us with her presence again, although I heard there was new material on the way recently iirc?) it wouldn’t matter because she’s already given us 2 of the best albums of the 21st century anyway.
I’ve see Newsom twice, both at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall (a gorgeous venue if you ever get the chance). The first time was Have One On Me tour and I was only just starting to get into her then, my girlfriend at the time couldn’t stand her but I was intrigued by what I had heard so far even if I wasn’t fully convinced yet, and so on the day of the concert I decided to take a punt and get one of the seats at the very back of the hall (which as the hall is perfectly soundproofed, you can still hear just as well back there). Even though I went on my own I was surprised to bump into quite a few of my friends who all seemed pretty excited to be seeing her which gave me some encouragment. Reader, I was floored.
The whole set was incredible, but by the time of Sawdust & Diamonds, a song I hadn’t heard until that point, I was in complete bits. Who was this artist reaching in and touching my soul with songs about love and mortality, two of my greatest fears, with these devastating lyrics asking me ‘why the long face?’ in the middle of a near 10-minute epic.
So, as a result, I dove head first into her three albums at the time and was utterly amazed by the quality of it. I was half way through my English Lit degree at the time, which almost certainly helped the cause because while I don’t always get on with poetry as well as I do prose, Newsom’s lyrics felt like all these bits of classic poetry I never got on with come to life in incredible fashion.
Anyway, 5 years later on the Divers tour, I see her again in the same venue (with Robin Pecknold of Fleet Foxes coming out of reclusion!) but this time I am front-and-centre (side-on with the stage, here’s a blurry photo)
and she was just amazing except this time I was going in knowing her songs and what to expect.
She opened with one of my all-time favourites, a song I actually covered once:
she did an unbelievable rendition of Emily
and (as Baby Birch, Cosmia & Peach Plum Pear have been posted already) I forgot how much of a jam Soft As Chalk is
Anyway yeah, unbelievable talent, love her, love her, love her.
oh she was one of the best things about Inherent Vice too
There is something so deeply astonishing and emotional within her music. I have waves of listening to her, when the mood is right or you need to access or deal with certain emotions she works like maybe only Joy Division do for me. Other worldly. Mysterious. Veiled. Life affirming. Her music can pull you in deep like you have fallen into a portal… it feels safe and you just want to stay there for a while. The music is visible on her, this is not faked, you can feel it and I feel it means as much to her as it does to the listener, more maybe.
For anyone that has not heard her I would suggest Divers as a starting point as I feel it is her most accessible album, maybe not her best, although that is a very close call. I saw her on that 2015 tour in Manchester and I’ve never felt those emotions at a gig, it felt more like being at the cinema. Strangers crying with joy, I felt the presence of humble greatness that evening and I’ve never felt so moved at a live show.
I wrote this for a music review site at the time (apologies if the link doesn’t work). She is a 5. A 100%. Beyond a point scoring system. An artist that feels more than music. A force and a flow. Something so deep and laid bare. Something reassuring and warm. Timeless…
Yeah I think so, could be the 200th too if you get lucky.
Embarrassing confession: I knew who Joanna Gruesome were before Joanna Newsom
This is probably not embarrassing, just a sign I was a young mostly London based punk at a certain time.