Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Sing me to Sleep, Joanna Newsom

There are styles of music that I mustn't play right before going to bed, because they activate my brain too much. It's at that time of the day that I play folk-ish, singer songwriter music (I am terrible in adding labels to an artist, just call it whatever you want). Johnny Cash and Sufjan Stevens are the most famous examples of good sleeping music at FTC HQ, but there are more and the best will probably will be discussed here eventually.

Recently, Joanna Newsom's new album Ys (scheduled for a release in november) has been a wonderful addition to my sleeping music playlist. The album has 5 songs on it..total playing time adds up to 55 minutes! I usually like my songs under 3 minutes, but Joanna's songs are like bedtime stories and her stories are so diverse, beautiful and creative that you're not even aware that the songs take 10 minutes or longer. The song I've posted (Emily) passes the 12 minute mark.

I could try and explain how the songs on Ys sound, but it's hard. Wikipedia actually has a pretty good description. "Her songwriting incorporates elements of indie pop, Appalachian music, avant-garde modernism, African harp rhythms and a sensibility that some listeners describe as quirky. Many are struck by Newsom's unusual voice, childish and weathered (at least one critic has compared it to Lisa Simpson's)."

I do believe she has a way of singing that you'll either love or hate. It's clear that I'm a lover, not a hater here. Did I mention she plays the harp? Oh my, don't let my punkrock/hardcore friends hear this!

Joanna Newsom - Emily

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