JOANNA NEWSOM - DIVERS [2 LP ]
Double vinyl LP pressing. 2015 release from the harpist, keyboardist, singer and songwriter. Divers is Newsom’s first album since 2010. 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.