Joanna Newsom is an artist on whom the spirits divide. The reviews and reports about the multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and singer are often full of praise, but where praise is, the critics are not far away. The reasons for the divided opinions are mostly her "special", childlike voice and her special musical style. Is this pop, baroque music or folk? The answer to that is quite clear: a little bit of everything.
The singer has already proven how well this combination works with three albums. And also her fourth album "Divers" continues this tradition - because what is definitely certain is that Joanna Newson is a gifted musician. In addition to numerous keyboard instruments, she has mastered harp playing like no other since the age of seven and has also studied composition and creative writing.
Of course this influences their music noticeably. So on "Divers". She herself already reported that she spent about one or two years working on the arrangements for her album, so that the soundscapes vary from song to song. For this she used, among other things, numerous different keyboard variations, including clavichords, mellotrons and marxophones.
She also worked for "Divers" with composers Ryan Francesconi and Nico Muhly as well as songwriter and Dirty Projectors front man Dave Longstreth. Supporting musicians on the album include Kevin Barker, Peter Newsom, Neal Morgan and the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, with production by Steve Albini and Noah Georgeson.
A first insight into the musical diversity and expertise on "Divers" has been available since August 10, 2015 with the first single release "Sapokanikan" - a somewhat bizarre but good-humored piano song, which will be supported by parade drums, brass and flutes as it progresses.
On "Divers" by Joanna Newsom, the name says it all. Together with her listeners, the singer dives deep into the music - into different styles and various arrangements.
"rampant songwriting by the eccentric singer and harpist." [Rolling Stone, November 2015]