This is pretty fantastic. A few days ago, Drag City streamed a song from the forthcoming Joanna Newsom album, “Have One On Me”, which I really should’ve flagged up.
“’81” was a solo harp piece that some might recognise from Newsom gigs of old: I knew it from Latitude 2007, when she played it on piano and I wrote, “The third, which for the purposes of this blog I’m going to call ‘Meet Me In The Garden Of Eden’, brings to mind one of the default comparisons for Newsom, Kate Bush, specifically “Army Dreamers”. I’m not convinced she’s ever written a catchier song.”
“’81” has disappeared from the Drag City site now, but in its place you can find “Good Intentions Paving Company” which is, if anything, even better. Back in that Latitude review, I mentioned a more soulful feel to Newsom’s voice and apparent direction – reminiscent of Laura Nyro, maybe – which certainly comes to the fore here. The arrangement’s a lot more spacious and jazzy than anything on “Ys”, too. Have a listen and, as ever, let me know what you think.