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Ys – Joanna Newsom

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Joanna Newsom has played herself into the hearts of numerous Nu-Folk fans worldwide. The spiritual sister Devendra Banhart, who has been playing the harp since she was 7 years old and studied music near San Francisco, now releases her new longplayer called "Ys" (pronounced "iis").

With the help of Beach Boys collaborator/producer Van Dyke Parks, Seve Albini and Jim O'Rourke she has created a truly great masterpiece. Joanna Newsom's harp virtuosity meets the genius Van Dyke Parks, the album as a total work of art is in a positive sense demanding and incredibly multi-faceted. At the centre of the unconventional instrumentation is Joanna's harp playing, which is refined or alienated by a 30-piece orchestra and corresponding arrangements by Van Dyke Parks. The fascinating voice of Joanna is enthroned above it, telling stories with a surrealistic touch and constantly varying between pitches, a voice that is sometimes reminiscent of Victoria Williams, Scout Niblett, Judy Garland and Björk.

F. Sawatzki in Musikexpress 12 / 06: "A heartbreaking Work of stunning genius. The songs shine in of heavenly string splendor, almost weightless, the cellos and violins fly like ghosts around the melodies, they come and go without prior notice. Joanna's voice and Harp form the center of the record at all times, it is the big, heartbreaking story from the private Fantasy land of Joanna Newsom, populated by syntacti- that T.C. Boyle used to make entire literary "that could keep classes busy."

Release details

Label: Drag City
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Units: 2
Country: US
Released: 2006


A1 Emily
B2 Monkey & Bear
B3 Sawdust & Diamonds
C4 Only Skin
D5 Cosmia