When I consider the music of Joanna Newsom in the context of how it makes a listener feel, I’d describe something visceral, cerebral, and, maybe more importantly, imaginative. On one side of the page, I wish I knew nothing of her musical background and only had a mental image of the hours she may have spent icing her little fingers after long sessions spent glued to her harp.
It’s obvious that one so dedicated to an instrument such as the harp would do their damnedest to master such an undertaking. However, it’s refreshing to hear just how meticulously she has worked (and with whom she’s worked) to get where she is when so many musicians these days seem to be picking up an instrument one day, recording a Youtube video the next week and touring the country before you know it.
The Milk-Eyed Mender and Ys collectively have provided a key point on my musical spectrum of taste by creating impressive, lovely songs that showcase Newsom’s strengths as both a harpist and vocalist. I’ve purposely not listened to the entirety of the new record Have One on Me because I’m anticipating the show on Monday in the same way I would be anticipating a new acquaintance. There are those moments that you need to introduce yourself to new music like you would introduce yourself to another, and live, in-person is always the most conducive to developing a healthy relationship.
Come see Joanna play a Wexner Center show on Monday night with Robin Pecknold (of Fleet Foxes) at the Southern Theatre and appreciate.