Joanna Newsom – Ys Street Band Review

Joanna doesn’t seem to write short songs these days! After Ys’ epic suites Joanna returned with her live band to record a 3 song EP that clocks in over twenty minutes!

New song “Colleen” is intricate and beautiful with the harp, banjo, accordion and human drums all enveloping you up. There is some serious musical talent on some of the complex hooks and this makes it folksy heaven.

“Calm, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie” is a redo of the song from her début album with harp and guitar and is nicely done with male backing vocals.

The EP closes with a 13 minute rendition of “Cosmia”. Taking away the strings from this climactic song may have worried some but the placement of guitars, banjos, accordions and most importantly smashing drum thunders really up the ante. I’m still not sure which version I like best and I think that’s recommendation enough.

Not life changing, only one new song and Joanna’s voice will continue to divide listeners (although its not so outrageous here) this EP is a must for all Newsom fans but if you’re new to her perhaps start elsewhere first.

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