Joanna Newsom | Artist
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Joanna Newsom is an American multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter, and actress born 1982 in Grass Valley, California. Newsom, whose father played the guitar, and mother was a classically trained pianist who played the hammered Dulcimer, the autoharp and conga drums, was classically trained on the harp and piano in her youth. She attended a Steiner school, where she studied theatre and learned to memorise and recite poetry. Her musical career began in 2001 as a keyboardist in the San Francisco–based indie band the Pleased. In 2003, after appearing as a guest musician on Nervous Cop's self-titled collaboration album, she made some homemade recordings and burned a small number of CDs to sell at her early shows. One of these found its way to William Oldham aka Bonnie 'Prince' Billy, who was so impressed with Newsom's music he asked her to tour with him. He also gave a copy of the CD to the owner of his record label Drag City, who signed Newsom and released her debut album The Milk-Eyed Mender in 2004. Newsom then toured with Devendra Banhart and Vetiver to promote the album, and made an appearance at the Green Man Festival in Wales. She also appeared as a guest musician on Vetiver's 2004 self-titled album and on Vashti Bunyan's album Lookaftering (2005). Her second album Ys was released in 2006 also on Drag City. The album features orchestrations and arrangements by Van Dyke Parks, engineering from Steve Albini and mixing by label-mate Jim O'Rourke. To support Ys, Newsom performed the album live in 2008 with the Brooklyn Philharmonic in New York City, and with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in Australia. Newsom's third studio album Have One on Me is a triple LP, recorded in Tokyo in 2009, and consisting of over two hours of songs. Divers, her fourth record, was released in 2015 and reached number one on Billboard's Alternative Albums Chart. Stylistically, Newsom has been linked with the modern psychedelic folk and "freak folk" movement. Her song-writing also incorporates elements of Appalachian music and avant-garde modernism. All her four studio albums are highly recommended, as is 2007's Joanna Newsom & the Ys Street Band E.P.
Artist Website: joanna-newsom.com
Featured Albums: Joanna Newsom