Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Lonely Island Presents: Joanna Newsom's Paul Thomas Anderson-directed Divers Lead Single, "Sapokanikan" (Drag City)


"We are excited to announce that a new Joanna Newsom song was released this morning! Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson," read an uncharacteristically serious Tweet from GRAMMY-winning Comedy-Rap triumvirate @thelonelyisland, which just so happens to showcase the rhymin' talents of Newsom's husband, Andy Samburg. While I'm vaguely familiar with Joanna Newsom's beautifully fragile harp-assisted melodies, I'm gonna be completely honest here: the only time I've ever actually "heard" her music was on Asher Roth & Nottz Raw's reflective "Sprout & The Bean"-sampling RAWTH EP cut, "Break Bread." Newsom's first album in nearly five years, Divers, features lush string arrangement composed by "a total murders' row: Newsom [herself], Nico Muhly, Dirty Projectors frontman Dave Longstreth, and Ryan Francesconi," as Stereogum reports. Divers' string arrangements were additionally recorded by legendary Nirvana In Utero (1993) producer Steve Albini along with her former The Pleased band-mate, Noah Georgeson.


Joanna Newsom's aforementioned new song, "Sapokanikan" was accompanied by a music video filmed by her former collaborator and Inherent Vice director, Paul Thomas Anderson. It's a simple, yet effective treatment that features Newsom wandering and joyously frolicking around the snow-covered New York streets whilst "Sapokanikan" nonchalantly plays in the background; a track which instantly reminds me of an uncanny hybrid of Fiona Apple's pained Jazz-laden melodies juxtaposed against frantic Tune-Yards frontwoman Merrill Garbus' unhinged spontaneity. Joanna Newsom's long-awaited follow-up to her critically-acclaimed triple album Have One On Me (2010), Divers is set to arrive on Drag City this upcoming October 23rd "...further along and down the road apiece from where she took her leave of us, Joanna Newsom plays on. Breathe deep and equalize your today-ears to the new world of..." Divers!?

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