Entries tagged with: Joanna Newsom
by Andrew Sacher, Bill Pearis & Amanda Hatfield
photo: Kendrick Lamar at Day For Night 2015 (more by Tim Griffin)
Every year is a good year for new music, but 2015 felt like the best one in a while. It was an especially great year for major label rap, after 2014 was an especially slow one, but it was good for plenty more than that too: folk, post-punk, indie pop, noise, art pop, punk, etc. We only have one metal album on our list, but there's a lot more where that came from at our metal sister site Invisible Oranges, who posted individual writer lists over the past few weeks. 2015 birthed excellent newcomers, and gave us crucial returns from artists who have been doing it for decades. This year, BrooklynVegan crowned a #1 pick for album of the year with the rest of our top 50 listed alphabetically. Some of the records have songs you couldn't leave your house without hearing, and others flew pretty under the radar, but we truly love each one.
Read our top 50 below...
Like they usually do, The Guardian rolled out their 40 Best Albums of 2015 list over a two-week period, and the whole thing is now here. The top 10 has nine US/UK list regulars and last year's Mercury Prize winners Young Fathers (who seem to be more loved in the UK). This year's Mercury Prize winner Benjamin Clementine also just makes the list, coming in at #40. There's veteran representation from New Order, Dr. Dre, Janet Jackson, Iron Maiden, and Sparks if you count FFS. And there's interesting outliers like Fantasma, the South African band featuring the Sub Pop-signed Spoek Mathambo.
Stream that one and check out the full Top 40 below...
TIny Mix Tapes posted their Favorite 50 Music Releases of 2015 list today. Like last year, it's certainly a good list for anyone who's tired of seeing the same artists on every list (though it does have Kendrick Lamar, Sufjan Stevens, Future, Bjork, Drake, Joanna Newsom, Carly Rae Jepsen, Grimes and other popular picks). It's the first list I've seen with the Liturgy album, and certainly the only one that has James Ferraro in the top 3. It's also one of just a few with avant-jazz great Matana Roberts and one of few with Grouper's band Helen. It also has Sicko Mobb, who just hours ago put out a new song with Jeremih.
There's a lot of interesting stuff on the list. Read their commentary and intro here and check out the top 50 below...
You saw their songs and their honorable mentions, and now Pitchfork's Top 50 Albums of 2015 list is here. Like with the song list, "records released this year and records that made their greatest impact in 2015 were eligible," which allows for things like D'Angelo's late 2014 release.
As usual, you can't just guess what the list is going to be by looking at what got Best New Music this year. Some of those albums became honorable mentions, and some were left off the year-end lists entirely (like Baroness, Nao, and Aphex Twin). The scores don't necessarily dictate it either. Deafheaven was one of a few albums to get a 9.0 or higher, but it dropped to #26 while the others all cracked the top 10. And then there's Carly Rae Jepsen, whose hype Pitchfork seemed to react against by giving her a less-than positive review, but they ended up throwing her on their year-end list just like everybody else. What should surprise no one though, is their #1 pick.
You can read their commentary here and check out the full list below...
photos by P Squared
"Joanna Newsom's performance at the Apollo last night gave chills & there were a few moments where it was so beautiful I teared up" - Dan Bernitt
...Sandwiched in between two of her most massive songs to date ("Emily" and "Have One On Me"), "Waltz of the 101st Lightborne" had the same show-stopping effect as those songs, with Ryan and Mirabi's guitar and violin flourishes popping out as much as Joanna's own presence.The above quote is from our review of Joanna Newsom's show at Brooklyn's Kings Theatre, and now we've got pictures of the other NYC stop of her tour: The Apollo, which she played this past Friday (12/11). The setlist was similar but not exactly the same as the Kings show, with a lot off the new album and older faves like "Bridges and Ballons," "Have One On Me," "Peach Plum Pear," "Cosmia" and more. Like at Kings, Joanna's bandmate Ryan Francesconi pulled double duty, opening with a collaborative set with Alela Diane. Pictures (including one of the setlist) are in this post and continue below.
Divers' lengthy title track was another show-stopper, but in the opposite way. It was one of the night's quieter songs, and had the crowd in a silent trance the whole time. The crowd was like that the whole show, really. If someone near you so much as coughed or shifted in their seat, you could hear them during Joanna's quiet parts.
Speaking of Joanna Newsom and kings, she was the guest on Larry King's "Larry King Now" episode yesterday (12/14), where she was interviewed and also taught Larry how to play the harp. The interview included her saying she'd love to collaborate with Kendrick Lamar, talking about Spotify (which she trashed in other interviews this year too), and more. Watch the whole interview below.
Pitchfork have published their 100 Best Tracks of 2015 list. The criteria was "any track that was released in 2015 or had its greatest impact in the U.S. during this year was eligible," which allows for stuff like 2014 releases from Fetty Wap and D'Angelo to count. Including guest appearances, Kendrick Lamar shows up four times, two of which are in the top five. Drake, Grimes, Jamie xx and Future all show up three times each. It includes a few singles off 2016 albums, like David Bowie's "Blackstar," ANOHNI's "4 Degrees" and Savages' "The Answer," one-off collaborations like WOKE (aka Flying Lotus, Thundercat and Shabazz Palaces), last-minute 2015 releases like Jeremih's "Oui," and surprise comeback singles like Missy Elliott's "WTF (Where They From)." If you were wondering, Adele's "Hello" is here (ranked very high), and yes, so is Justin Bieber. There's also some representation from less commercial stuff like the hardcore band G.L.O.S.S..
Check out the whole list below...
by Andrew Sacher
photo: Fleet Foxes in Austin in 2011 (more by Tim Griffin)
In the spring of 2014, Robin Pecknold posted an update saying he was working on new Fleet Foxes music. We still haven't heard any of that, but here's something else to look forward to. Robin announced that he'll be opening the European and West Coast legs of Joanna Newsom's 2016 tour, and debuting an all-new solo set on the tour. He writes on Facebook (via Stereogum):
Very excited / honored to say that I'll be opening some dates for Joanna Newsom early next year, playing an all-new solo set. I'll be on both the European and the West Coast legs of her tour, in late winter / early spring. Hope to see some of you guys out there! asdkljaslkfjalw;ekjwal;erjwerpiwuerpoiwueropialkj;kJ;lkwj;lkejrewWell that's exciting! This follows Robin uploading a cover he recorded of The Five Keys' 1956 song "Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind" a couple weeks ago. He recorded it with past collaborator Neal Morgan (who's also worked extensively with Joanna Newsom) on drums, and he basically makes it sound like a Fleet Foxes song or something off his solo EP, with a chaotic noise section thrown in. It's a great cover that really brings something new to the song. Listen below.
Meanwhile, Joanna Newsom (who Robin's toured and collaborated with before and covered) is on another leg of her tour right now, with Alela Diane & Ryan Francesconi opening. We just caught her excellent show at Brooklyn's Kings Theatre (review, setlist), and she plays NYC again on Friday (12/11) at The Apollo (sold out). Updated dates are listed below.
Like last year, The FADER have listed their favorite tracks of the year. They picked 107, "because 100 just wasn't enough." It's got two Drake songs in the top 10, and a Skepta song cracks it too (grime in general is pretty well-represented). A certain former bubblegum pop singer who's becoming a popular choice for #1 is #1 here too. Mixed into the mostly rap/R&B/electronic pop list is Adele, some country representation from Chris Stapleton and Kacey Musgraves, lo-fi DIY from Sheer Mag and Girlpool, and a few other outliers. Check out the whole list, and a Spotify playlist of it, below.
by Andrew Sacher
Joanna Newsom @ Kings Theatre - 12/7/15 (photo via @kimberleigh_rc)
Joanna Newsom began the North American leg of her tour in Boston on Sunday, and then hit Brooklyn's Kings Theatre last night (12/7) for her first NYC show since playing Carnegie Hall in 2010. It was my first time at the venue, which was renovated and re-opened earlier this year after closing in 1977. It's a gorgeous theater inside and out, and it was even more visually appealing for Joanna's set, as she was performing in front of a giant painted canvas that somewhat resembled the cover of her new album Divers. (Heads up for future first timers though: It's a very long line to get in because of security, which I didn't realize and missed most of Alela Diane & Ryan Francesconi's opening set. The tiny bit I did hear sounded good though.)
We got most of the Divers songs, and Joanna and her band -- which included Ryan Francesconi (pulling double duty after his opening set), Mirabai Peart and Pete Newsom -- mixed in an excellent selection of older ones: "Bridges and Balloons," "Emily," "Have One On Me," "Peach, Plum, Pear," "Cosmia" and more. My immediate reaction to Divers was that it wasn't as instantly overwhelming as her last three albums, but over time these songs soak in. In the live setting last night, they not only fit perfectly with all of her other material, they often highlighted the set. Sandwiched in between two of her most massive songs to date ("Emily" and "Have One On Me"), "Waltz of the 101st Lightborne" had the same show-stopping effect as those songs, with Ryan and Mirabi's guitar and violin flourishes popping out as much as Joanna's own presence.
Divers' lengthy title track was another show-stopper, but in the opposite way. It was one of the night's quieter songs, and had the crowd in a silent trance the whole time. The crowd was like that the whole show, really. If someone near you so much as coughed or shifted in their seat, you could hear them during Joanna's quiet parts. One thing Joanna has always known how to do is end an album, and her live shows are no different. The best moment for me was when she brought Ys closer "Cosmia" into the last pre-encore song of the night, Divers closer "Time, As A Symptom." It's the closest she comes to "anthemic" on the new album (and maybe ever?), and seeing Joanna and Mirabai belt out those chorus harmonies together last night was a truly powerful moment.
The encore began with Joanna returning on her own for "Sawdust & Diamonds" and then the band came back out to wrap up the show with "Baby Birch." Last night's show was sold out, but you can still get tickets for their next NYC show: Friday (12/11) at The Apollo. Like last night, Alela Diane & Ryan Francesconi open.
Setlist from Kings Theatre and a couple more pictures, with updated tour dates, below...
by Andrew Sacher
photo by Morgan Walker, illustration by Claire O'Neill/NPR
The year-end lists keep coming. Today, NPR Music published their 50 Favorite Albums of 2015 list. As usual, it's all over the map genre-wise, with classical, jazz, electronic, rap, mainstream pop, lo-fi DIY, indie rock, folk, country, metal and more.
It's got some of the albums that appear on most of these lists, like Kendrick Lamar, Sufjan Stevens, Courtney Barnett, Jamie xx, Future, Vince Staples, Joanna Newsom and Alabama Shakes, but plenty of surprises too. It's the first list I've seen with the Beauty Pill album, and the first non-rap list I've seen with The Game. It's also got often-underrated albums from Colleen, Jazmine Sullivan and Low. And there's bound to be something on it you haven't heard yet.
Read their commentary here and check out the full list below...
Rolling Stone has published their list of the Top 50 Albums of 2015. As always, it has older artists who don't seem to pop up on many other lists (Madonna, Darlene Love, Mark Knopfler, Boz Scaggs, Keith Richards, James Taylor, Don Henley) (did you even know Don Henley released an album this year?). There's also two major rap albums in the top 3 (with Adele sandwiched in between), a good amount of country (Jason Isbell, Chris Stapleton, Eric Church, Ashley Monroe), smaller indie rock bands (Hop Along, Car Seat Headrest), mainstream pop (Selena Gomez, Carly Rae Jepsen), alt-rock giants (Muse, Marilyn Manson), and a lot more. And they're counting D'Angelo's December 2014 release for this list (it cracks the top 5).
Read their commentary here and check out the whole list below...
Cindy Lee - 'Act of Tenderness'
Gorilla vs Bear has published his Top 50 Albums of 2015 list, writing, "We feel pretty confident proclaiming 2015 the best year for new music this decade, and we'd even go so far as to say it's been arguably our favorite year in the history of this site." The list includes Panda Bear, Jamie xx, Grimes, Vince Staples, Leon Bridges, both Beach House albums (Thank Your Lucky Stars is ranked higher), U.S. Girls, Sufjan Stevens, Julia Holter, Young Thug, Toro y Moi, Empress Of, Joanna Newsom, Knxwledge, Molly Nilsson and more. Check out the whole thing below.
The list also includes Cindy Lee, the project that was formed by ex-Women guitarist/singer Patrick Flegel when two of his other bandmates (including his brother Matt) formed Viet Cong. He released the Malenkost tape and the Act of Tenderness album this year, both of which made GvsB's list (#32 and #5, respectively). You can download both for free at Cindy Lee's geocities website. Stream the latter below.
The new issue of UK music mag Uncut is out now, and it includes their Top 75 Albums of 2015 list. Like fellow UK mags MOJO and Q, they've got a lot of love for Julia Holter. They also have Sleaford Mods pretty high, lots of the 2015 year-end regulars in the top 10 (Kendrick, Sufjan, Father John Misty, Tame Impala, Courtney Barnett), and lots of older musicians throughout the list (Keith Richards, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Richard Thompson, Nick Cave, Killing Joke, PiL, Paul Weller, Robert Forster, etc). Check out the full list below.
British music mag Q just put out their latest issue which has Coldplay on the cover and also includes their Top 50 Albums of 2015 list (not including the new Coldplay album, which isn't out yet). It's got a lot of the bands that the UK press tends to favor more than the American press (Palma Violets, Wolf Alice, Years & Years, Slaves, Everything Everything), tons of the stuff we'll probably see on most lists (Tame Impala, Sufjan Stevens, Kendrick Lamar, Courtney Barnett), and a few surprises.
Check out the full list below...
It's that time of year again when folks start publishing their End of Year Best-Of lists. Almost always first out of the gates is UK-based Rough Trade Shops who dropped their 100 Best Albums of 2015 list today. Coming in at #1 was Bjork's devastatingly personal Vulnicura. And here's their Top 20:
1) Bjork - VulnicuraYou can check out Rough Trade Shops full Top 100 Albums of 2015 list below...
2) Father John Misty - I Love You Honeybear
3) Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit
4) Ezra Furman - Perpetual Motion People
5) Max Richter - From Sleep
6) Wolf Alice - My Love is Cool
7) Kamasi Washington - The Epic
8) Royal Headache - High
9) Romare - Projections
10) Jamie XX - In Colour
11) John Grant - Grey Tickles, Black Pressure
12) Sufjan Stevens - Carrie and Lowell
13) Tame Impala - Currents
14) Nadine Shah - Fast Food
15) Wand - Golem
16) Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly
17) Django Django - Born Under Saturn
18) Tobias Jesso Jr - Goon
19) Georgia - S/T
20) Palma Violets - Danger in the Club
Joanna Newsom's upcoming tour with Alela Diane & Ryan Francesconi hits Brooklyn's Kings Theatre on December 7. Tickets are still available, though Ticketmaster says there are "not many left." Newsom has added a show at Apollo Theatre on December 11. Tickets for the Apollo show go on sale Friday (11/6) at noon with an AmEx presale starting Thursday (11/5) at 10 AM.
Updated tour dates are listed below...
by Andrew Sacher
Joanna takes her time getting new albums out into the world, and it shows. Her voice and harp are complemented by meticulous arrangements, and the lyrics are especially striking here too. On the album's title track (and longest song), she asks the questions that philosophers and poets have been asking for centuries ("Tell me why is the pain of birth lighter borne than the pain of death?") but never sounds hollow or redundant. And even if you weren't paying attention to her words closely, you'll be sucked in by the repeated mantra of "you will not take my heart alive" on the song of the same name.The title track of Joanna Newsom's new album Divers (which we discussed here, quoted above) got a Paul Thomas Anderson-directed video that premiered in theaters earlier this month, and now it's here for the internet crowd. Check it out below. If you haven't picked up Divers yet, it's really an excellent album and you can do so at the Drag City webstore.
Joanna begins her tour on Halloween in the UK with Alasdair Roberts, and later in the fall she kicks off the North American run with Alela Diane & Ryan Ryan Francesconi (who also have a new album out now). The tour includes Brooklyn's Kings Theatre on December 7. Tickets for that show are still available.
by Andrew Sacher
photo by Annabel Mehran
Joanna Newsom finally releases her fourth album and first in five years, Divers, this Friday via Drag City (pre-order), and for the next 48 hours it'll be streaming online (and obviously don't expect it on Spotify after that). Joanna's been the kind of artist who consistently blows away her last album with each new release. Her 2004 debut The Milk-Eyed Mender was an instant classic of the mid-2000s freak folk movement, and to follow it up she put out the five-song Ys where each song was its own mini-epic with grand orchestral arrangements from Brian Wilson collaborator Van Dyke Parks. Then she went even more massive with 2010's triple album Have One On Me, her most lush album to date.
After just a few listens, Divers sounds like Joanna's first new album to not instantly top its predecessor. It feels like a condensed and slightly more accessible version of the style she explored on Have One On Me, but of course that still means it's some of the best music coming out today. Joanna takes her time getting new albums out into the world, and it shows. Her voice and harp are complemented by meticulous arrangements, and the lyrics are especially striking here too. On the album's title track (and longest song), she asks the questions that philosophers and poets have been asking for centuries ("Tell me why is the pain of birth lighter borne than the pain of death?") but never sounds hollow or redundant. And even if you weren't paying attention to her words closely, you'll be sucked in by the repeated mantra of "you will not take my heart alive" on the song of the same name.
Even if this album doesn't make a huge musical jump from the last, it does find subtler ways to progress. Twangy electric guitar is more noticeable than ever before on "Goose Eggs" and "Waltz of the 101st Lightborne," the latter of which also throws in some accordion and fiddle playing for an effect not quite like any of her previous material. At times, Joanna's voice is bolder than ever too. She's gotten plenty of Kate Bush comparisons in the past, but some of the real triumphant parts here remind me of Stevie Nicks (in a "Silver Springs" or "Sisters Of The Moon" kind of way). Mostly though, it sounds like an album that only Joanna Newsom could make and it seems like the kind of thing that's meant to reveal itself over time. Head below to listen for yourself (via NPR).
photo by Annabel Mehran
We've already heard two songs from the much-anticipated new Joanna Newsom album, Divers (due 10/23 via Drag City), and now Joanna has announced a tour in support of it with Alela Diane & Ryan Francesconi opening.
She'll hit NYC on December 7 at Kings Theatre, for what will be her first NYC show since Carnegie Hall in 2010. Tickets for that show will go on sale Friday (10/9) at 10 AM with an AmEx presale starting Wednesday (10/7) at noon and a venue presale starting Thursday (10/8) at 10 AM.
Joanna will also release the video for the title track of the new album as a theatrical-only release from October 16-22 in US theaters and a few European ones too, and then on 10/27 in various UK theaters. In NYC, it will be showing at the IFC Center. Like the Sapokanikan" video, it was directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. All screening locations and all tour dates below.
For Alela Diane & Ryan Francesconi (the latter of whom contributed arrangements to Joanna's Have One On Me album), they'll be supporting their new collaborative album Cold Moon which comes out October 16 via Rusted Blue Records. You can check out two songs from that below. Before the tour, they play a few release shows, including one with Heather Woods Broderick.
by Andrew Sacher
photo by Annabel Mehran
The great Joanna Newsom releases her much-anticipated fourth album Divers on October 23 via Drag City, and today we get a second single. Following Sapokanikan," "Leaving The City" is another gorgeous song that's keeping our hopes high for this album. Listen below.
by Andrew Sacher
photo by Annabel Mehran
Joanna Newsom's 2010 album, Have One On Me, is still one of the very best albums of this decade so far, and its followup has been much anticipated for a while. Now, finally, five years later we'll get her fourth album, Divers, on October 23 via Drag City. The first single is "Sapokanikan," which so far is making Divers seem like it's gonna be worth the wait. The video for the single was directed by There Will Be Blood / Boogie Nights filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson, who Joanna worked with on Inherent Vice.
The album features arrangements by Nico Muhly, Ryan Francesconi, Dave Longstreth, and Joanna herself, and production by Steve Albini and Noah Georgeson. Watch the new video and check out the album artwork and tracklist, below...
As mentioned, the Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood did the score for Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice which is in theaters now. It includes "Spooks," which was originally to be a Radiohead song and never finished, here performed by Greenwood and Supergrass' Gaz Coombes and Danny Goffey with some of Joanna Newsom's narration laid overtop. The rest of Greenwood's score is more traditional orchestration, with lots of strings and wind instruments. The official soundtrack mixes Greenwood's contribution with songs used in the movie, like Can's "Vitamin C," Minnie Ripperton's "Les Fleur" and Neil Young's "Journey Through the Past." You can stream the whole Inherent Vice soundtrack, via Spotify, below...
Joanna Newsom at Carnegie Hall in 2010 (more by Chris La Putt)
Yesterday we talked about Paul Thomas Anderson's upcoming film Inherent Vice, and how it will be narrated by Joanna Newsom and feature a version of Radiohead's unrecorded "Spooks" by film scorer Jonny Greenwood with Supergrass members Gaz Coombes and Dany Goffey. The song just premiered over at Stereogum, and it also features spoken word by Joanna. Check it out below.
film review by PSquared
Paul Thomas Anderson's new film, Inherent Vice, is out in limited release this Friday (12/12) and goes into wide release on January 19. Here in NYC, it opens Friday at the Angelica and Loews Lincoln Square. It's the first feature adaptation of a Thomas Pynchon novel, and stars Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin. Here's the synopsis:
When private eye Doc Sportello's ex-old lady suddenly out of nowhere shows up with a story about her current billionaire land developer boyfriend whom she just happens to be in love with, and a plot by his wife and her boyfriend to kidnap that billionaire and throw him in a looney bin...well, easy for her to say. It's the tail end of the psychedelic `60s and paranoia is running the day and Doc knows that "love" is another of those words going around at the moment, like "trip" or "groovy," that's being way too overused - except this one usually leads to trouble.BV's own PSquared caught the film during the NY Film Festival premiere and liked it a lot:
The landscape is littered with corrupt cops, an undercover stoner sax player, neo nazi gangs, what could be a possible Asian drug running organization or just simple cocaine obsessed dentist tax cheats. It is Anderson's most hilarious film. The benchmarks here are late 40's noir, slapstick comedies, 70's masterworks The Long Goodbye and Chinatown and hippie drug comics like The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. The all star acting troupe, as you would expect is uniformly superb headed by Joaquin Phoenix as Doc and Josh Brolin eating up scenes as the nasty but "you can't hate him" cop Bigfoot Bjornsen.You can read his whole review below.
Also appearing is Joanna Newsom who plays Sortilege, the film's narrator. You can hear her in action in the brand new trailer for Inherent Vice that also uses Can's "Vitamin C" as part of its soundtrack. This was the first acting role for the indie harpist, who's married to comedian Andy Samberg, apart from an episode of Portlandia. She told Billboard about her first day on the set:
I had a very strong sense that I didn't know what I was doing/ Afterward, Paul came up to me and said, 'You're going to go home and start freaking out and think that you did a terrible job, and I'm just going to tell you now that you didn't, and that it will be easier the next time.' And he was right.Joanna also mentions to Billboard that she's busy working on the follow-up to 2010's Have One On Me but the film did not impact her writing. "I'm so slow anyway with music. [Inherent Vice] did take up some of my creative energy and time, but it was completely worth it." She's not Inherent Vice's only indie music tie-in: the score was written by Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood (also also scored PTA's There Will Be Blood and The Master) and it features a never-recorded Radiohead song, "Spooks," as performed by two thirds of Supergrass.
If you'd like to see Inherent Vice for free, Videology in Williamsburg is giving away a bunch of pairs of tickets tonight (12/9) at their weekly Movie Trivia night. It starts at 8:30 PM as is free to attend (get there early if you want a table).
Psquared's Inherent Vice review and the film's trailer featuring Joanna Newsom's narration, below...
by Andrew Sacher
Yesterday, Pitchfork posted their top 200 tracks of the decade so far, and today they've listed the top 100 albums to have come out between 2010-2014. There's some surprises on there. For example, I didn't expect to see Bon Iver's self-titled, their #1 album of 2011 and with a score of 9.5, rank as low as #27 on this list. I was also surprised to see Chief Keef make it but not, say, Shabazz Palaces or Schoolboy Q. And there's a few other glaring omissions: nothing by The National? Grizzly Bear? One thing that will surprise no one though, is their #1 pick.
You can check out the full list below...