Wednesday, July 9, 2008

semi-oldies but goodies



rather than listen to any new music, lately i've been listening to old favorites. the latest cd i slightly dusted off was "the milk-eyed mender" by joanna newsom. i love her to death, but i know she is one of the most divisive singer/songwriters out there. my radio teacher, a public radio dj and huge fan of indie music, hated playing her cd. another kid i know, who writes a very popular music blog, said she should never be allowed near a microphone. and yet my other friend listens to her almost exclusively.

the problem is that her voice is very...unique, to put it nicely.

the thing is, i don't listen to her music because of her voice. i like deep, husky, fragile yet smooth vocals with a wide range, and hers is nasal, squeaky, and high. but her lyrics are amazing, as are her melodies, and i love how lush a harp can sound all by itself. she is a brilliant lyricist and musician, brainy, witty and sweet all at the same time. listening to her makes me feel like i'm in some mythical forest filled with bunnies and flowers, as cheesy as that sounds. she's working on her voice, supposedly, and it's getting a lot richer and less...squeaky/grating/strangled.

if you've never heard her, i don't expect you to like her right off the bat. it takes some getting used to. this is one of my favorite songs of hers, but i think it's much easier to listen to, say, emiliana torrini, marissa nadler, bat for lashes or bjork (all amazing) than someone like joanna. they all give off that same hyper-lyrical and dreamy vibe with much more palatable voices.

her line, "never get so attached to a poem you forget truth that lacks lyricism", is pure gold.

joanna newsom - en gallop

related:
emiliana torrini - heartstopper (another old favorite - highly rec'd)

3 comments:

Mila said...

Hi!
I don't know her and the music isn't working on my laptop, but she is so pretty! Wow. Your style is amazing too!
x Mila.

juliet small ernst said...

i never, ever get tired of joanna newsom. her music makes me grateful to be alive. we saw her with a full orchestra playing Ys in it entirety last year...oh. she's my favorite.

lovely to see her face here!

A. Fang said...

Oh, gosh. I know what you mean. I adore her music, and I actually quite like her voice. However, whenever I play her music with friends/family around, most of them cannot stand her voice.