Joanna Newsom Divers on 2LP
Co-Produced with Steve Albini and featuring Guest Appearances by Nico Muhly & Dirty Projectors' Dave Longstreth!
Good heavens - five years go by - what can one do? Dive, listener, knowing that your next hour will be filled with diversions aplenty: a wheeling circuit of sci-fi sea-shanties and cavalier ballads, narrated from parts unknown; a family of polysemic song-sets; a paranomasaic Liederkreis of harmonic sympathies and knotted hierarchies.
A fanfare of brazen puns and martial lullabies, blazing in sorrow and horseplay and love, in turns symphonic and spare, joined by Mellotrons and Marxophones and Moogs, clavichords and celestas - and of course the harp, thrumming its threnodies of circadian invasions and avian irruptions and strange loops of Shepard-toned resonant-frequencies and something called goddamned Simulacreage.
The music of Joanna Newsome's new Drag City release Divers is a wonder of considered arrangements - a taut line, threaded with the pearls of passed and passing times...a round, a chant, an incantation...a ray of light diverted eleven ways, into eleven songs that striate, in chromatic collusion, their simultaneous arc... a span that takes in lifetimes, but is immaculately sequenced for telescoped brevity. The music speeds with dissociative dread over montaged cityscapes; it hoofs with delight among the collaged quotations and sepia-toned codices of Popular Song...