Joanna Newsom, everyone's favorite fairy princess, has a new album called Ys (pronounced "ees").
I waver in my reaction to Ms. Newsom, but I vacillate between grudging admiration of her sheer audacity, and hoots of laughter over her ridiculously overwrought persona and songwriting. Fly away, my dearest darling, with your alliteration and your elusive, effusive allusions, on moonbeams and butterfly wings. Call me when you've found a voice and you've put away the damned thesaurus.
To be sure, we have entered the most indie sanctum when someone can alternately coo and shriek words like
you froze in your sand shoal
prayed for your poor soul
sky was a bread roll, soaking in a milk-bowl
and when the bread broke, fell in bricks of wet smoke
my sleeping heart woke, and my waking heart spoke
then there was a silence you took to mean something:
mean, run, sing
for alive you will evermore be
and the plague of the greasy black engines a-skulkin'
has gone east
while you're left to explain them to me
released from their hairless and blind cavalry
and then carry on in a similar manner for another sixteen minutes, all in the same song. This is an achievement of sorts, although I'm content to note it and move on to something else, very quickly. A doubter I will evermore be. Meanwhile, the harpist was a-pluckin', and the scene kids were a-swoonin', and the critics were a-pukin', all in the month of May.