Joanna Newsom made a surprise return to live music last week (March 22).
She appeared, unbilled, as support for the Fleet Foxes at the Belasco in Los Angeles, where the band’s Robin Pecknold introducing her as “the high priestess of acoustic music”.
Newsom played an hour-long song set – her first public performance since January 2020. She opened with “Go Long” from 2010’s Have One On Me and ended with “Sawdust & Diamonds” from 2006’s Ys and in between she played five unreleased songs. According to Setlist.FM, these were:
Bombs Are Whistling
Marie At The Mill
The Air Again
She also joined Fleet Foxes during their set for “Blue Spotted Tail” while the band later brought back on stage for her own “Good Intentions Paving Company“.
In a statement to Pitchfork, Pecknold reveals that Newsom had approached him asking “if we had any shows in Los Angeles coming up that she could drop in on as a surprise opener to test out some new songs”. Instead, Pecknold built the entire show around Newsom.
You can watch footage of Newsom’s five new songs below:
After the show, Pecknold posted this on his Instagram: