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Joanna Newsom


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Nevada City CA, United States (2002 – present)

Joanna Newsom (born January 18, 1982) started taking piano lessons at a very early age and played for a couple of years, but switched to the harp at seven. Her approach to the harp, from the percussive aspects of her playing to her chord changes, was also influenced by West African and Venezuelan harp music, which she began studying at a folk music camp she attended in her early teens. At the same time, she also listened to more vocal-based , , and like Karen Dalton, Texas Gladden, Patti Smith, and Billie Holiday. By the time she reached high-school age, Newsom decided she wanted to become a composer, and while that became the focus of her studies, in her free time she began writing and recording instrumental songs. Eventually, Newsom’s passion for songwriting won out, and she began studying creative writing to work with words in the same way she was accustomed to working with music.

Although Joanna Newsom’s Appalachian-meets- take on music is her most celebrated work, her range is even more inclusive than her solo career suggests: the classically trained harpist adds a decidedly different, textural sound to Nervous Cop, the noise rock trio that also features Deerhoof’s Greg Saunier and Hella’s Zach Hill, and she also plays keyboards for The Pleased, another San Francisco-area band more akin to Blondie or Television than her other projects.


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  • jussslic

    I heard she's buying a synthesizer and arpeggiator and throwing her harp out the window because she wants to make something real. She wants to make a Yaz record.

    24 May 9:35pm Reply
  • MontezumaIsLame

    I hear the next album will feature Drake

    11 May 5:26am Reply
  • Smartypants101

    I think Waldorf students are such a special breed and Joanna is a prime example of a Waldorf education success story. Also, I seriously can't stop laughing at the Celtic Roman Fever Ray reference.

    6 May 6:37pm Reply
  • ButTheRegrets

    Judging by how monstrously long Have One on Me is, and the similar album development time length between that and Ys, her new album better be really long.

    26 Apr 3:20pm Reply
  • pushit

    "Just read an article that off-handedly mentioned that she just shot a music video in NYC with PT Anderson. But can't find a single other source confirming. LET'S HOPE IT'S TRUE." Oh, god. Don't say it if isn't true.

    24 Apr 11:41pm Reply
  • jussslic

    ["celtic roman fever ray"] ........... Hah nah, she's more like a Celtic Orpheus singing passages from Ovid.

    22 Apr 5:16am Reply
  • R-Mac

    god i wonder what j.newnew is up to these days. we need a tour or album, preferably both

    20 Apr 11:51pm Reply
  • jessyrocker

    Love this Music

    17 Apr 7:17pm Reply
  • jeremologyy

    Just read an article that off-handedly mentioned that she just shot a music video in NYC with PT Anderson. But can't find a single other source confirming. LET'S HOPE IT'S TRUE.

    16 Apr 3:55pm Reply
  • jessyrocker

    Big Fan Here

    16 Apr 2:53am Reply
  • christles

    My favorite song is every single song she sings. [2]

    10 Apr 6:24pm Reply
  • coloured_stripe

    I still believe she will release a comeback album sometime this year with very little warning. Let us all stay in prayer.

    5 Apr 7:33pm Reply
  • CatalystDM

    Moar liek Times New Roman Fever Ray amirite?

    3 Apr 2:16am Reply
  • Confessions87

    A new album this year would be amazing considering the vast wealth of great material to have already been released.

    2 Apr 5:57am Reply
  • magicarmor

    just puked in my mouth reading "celtic roman fever ray"

    31 Mar 10:12pm Reply
  • wangle-mcdangle

    Go Jo!

    30 Mar 4:41pm Reply
  • Radioheart0706

    I hope new album's dropping this year.

    22 Mar 11:39am Reply
  • ElBandido

    I was amazed to see her in Inherent Vice, but I liked it!

    9 Mar 9:51am Reply
  • swarmsea

    Oh hell we don't need no fever ray here

    7 Mar 7:16pm Reply
  • tarkmeenia

    so dig up your bone, exhume your pine cone....

    5 Mar 11:04pm Reply
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