Joanna Newsom’s Ys

The only way I know I lost something from my now gigantic music library is when I look for a tune I have been obsessed with only months before to realize it’s gone! Due to some computer crashes and ipod updating, files can get lost in the shuffle. When I found out Joanna Newsom’s Ys was missing from my music library, however, I was reminded of its greatness, and had to get it back.
Joanna Newsom released Ys two years ago and received much praise from indie media outlets including applause from the usually nasty Pitchfork. The record has Joanna Newsom on her harp and scratchy angelic voice along with folky arrangements of a full orchestra done by Van Dyke Parks to make an album of 5 tracks lasting for almost an hour. The sound, with its nostalgic quality yearns back to early 1900s balladry, though the quality of the recording clearly places the record in the modern indie scene.
Maybe it’s because Jim O’Rourke mixed it, maybe it’s because they recorded full orchestra to tape, or maybe it’s because of Newsom’s amazing compositions, but there is definitely magic in this recording. If you have never touched this record, I would recommend you sit down and spend some time with it on the porch with a cool drink. If you have experienced the glory, then it’s about time for you to check her out live and at her finest, conveniently at the Symphony Center downtown. Here, Newsom’s lush compositions will be performed with the help of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Friday, August 22.

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