“It’s a strange time to be Joanna Newsom. An indie icon, one of the most revered songwriters to emerge this side of the millennium, she’s spent five years in varying degrees of seclusion, dabbling in film and endlessly postponing fans’ wishes for a new record. Divers, the album she’s finally finished, arrives October 23 to rapt anticipation,” Newsweek is reporting.
“It’s lighter in tone and shorter than the 2010 epic Have One on Me, and it’s the most instrumentally varied work she’s ever produced, with both keyboards and synths accompanying her long-favored harp. At 11 tracks in 52 minutes, Divers is the first Newsom album since her debut not to push the extremes of the album format (there are no nine-minute baroque epics or multiple discs) and the first music she’s put out since marrying actor and comedian Andy Samberg in 2013. A few numbers even sound…joyful?
“For Newsom’s followers, it’s a monumental occasion. “I’ve had a Google Alert set up for this for 4 freaking years,” one fan tweeted when “Sapokanikan” was released, while another said he felt “broken from an excess of happiness.” Soon after the song appeared, Newsom’s father, a retired doctor in California, emailed his daughter a link to the lyric annotation site Genius.com, which had posted a full annotation of it.
“Did they get it right? ‘In terms of all the references, they got a lot of them,’ Newsom says. ‘They didn’t get them all, though!” she adds, cackling a bit mischievously.”
A more entertaining read is here. One excerpt: “A native of Nevada City, a hippie enclave in Northern California that’s a haven for artists, New Age mystics, and anyone else eager to escape the grid, Newsom has a natural West Coast sunniness that doesn’t dim even when she’s annoyed.”