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Joanna Newsom

Divers

Joanna Newsom Divers
$8.97 New
 
In stock - will ship Wednesday

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Good heavens — five years go by — what can one do? Dive, listener, knowing that your next hour will be filled with diversions aplenty: a wheeling circuit of sci-fi sea-shanties and cavalier ballads, narrated from parts unknown; a family of polysemic song-sets; a paranomasaic Liederkreis of harmonic sympathies and knotted hierarchies; a fanfare of brazen puns and martial lullabies, blazing in sorrow and horseplay and love, in turns symphonic and spare, joined by Mellotrons and Marxophones and Moogs, clavichords and celestas—and of course the harp, thrumming its threnodies of circadian invasions and avian irruptions and strange loops of Shepard-toned resonant-frequencies and something called goddamned Simulacreage... The music of Divers is a wonder of considered arrangements — a taut line, threaded with the pearls of passed and passing times...a round, a chant, an incantation...a ray of light diverted eleven ways, into eleven songs that striate, in chromatic collusion, their simultaneous arc...a span that takes in lifetimes, but is immaculately sequenced for telescoped brevity. The music speeds with dissociative dread over montaged cityscapes; it hoofs with delight among the collaged quotations and sepia-toned codices of Popular Song; it ambles its carefree citational course through the public domain and down into the dustier corners of municipal parks, to lionize infamous airmen and anonymous Dutch Masters, to mourn pearl divers and Poorwills, and to elegize the ineluctable tragedy of relativity — a tragedy of parochial time, anecdotal time, dubious time... At the center of the mythos and the maelstrom is the woman. Divers reminds us thatNewsom is a melodist, above all — an acolyte of melody and beauty in form, a crackerjack of emotional truth conveyed with undiluted immediacy. “The Things I Say” seems a naked admission, after the epic swales of war and peace that precede it, and yet this sudden moment of piano and voice falls seamlessly into the flow, buffeted by the haunting winds of a musical saw and time-slipping reversal at the finish. ...so that, at the aortic confluence of such a complexity of strings and wires, winking beneath the lacquered layers of instrumental nacre, biding quietly between the ranges ofrhapsodic arrangement—including those by Nico Muhly, Ryan Francesconi, Dave Longstreth, Dan Cantrell, and Newsomherself — there lies an intimacy seldom achieved, and simply heard. Divers dives forth with a pure love and respect for the traditions and mysteries of man, such that we can feel the surge of life itself passing over our bones as we hear the songs and sounds, the players — among them Kevin Barker, Peter Newsom, Neal Morgan, and the City of PraguePhilharmonic Orchestra — and the arrangements; as basic maths are reviewed to uncover heights of joy and sorrow, all traced in triumphal arches and supernumerary rainbows through eternal amber, gleaming in analog entrapment — with that VOICE riding high atop; the vast embodiments and boundless refinements of her singing suffused amid the tidal intake and outtake of cellulose acetate — recorded with snow-bright, high-noonverity by Steve Albini and Noah Georgeson, mixed in mphantasmagoric, deep-seasaturation by Noah and Joanna, and loosed, fuckin’ FINALLY, on October 23rd by Drag City Records. We have reached Peak Newsom. Divers is coming, to incline into your many and varied lifelines, for now and then and the rest of the moments that mwill always return in your lifetimes again.

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