Music » Critics' Picks

Joanna Newsom

9 p.m. Tuesday, November 7. Blueberry Hill's Duck Room (6504 Delmar Boulevard, University City).

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Fans of freak-folk heroes like Devendra Banhart and Ben Chasny are probably already familiar with songstress Joanna Newsom — but for those of you who aren't, you will be soon. Newsom's upcoming full-length, Ys, was recorded by Steve Albini, arranged by Van Dyke Parks and mixed by Jim O'Rourke. And despite the fact that the median track length on Ys is eleven minutes long (with the song "Only Skin" clocking in at slightly over the sixteen-minute mark), it's not the least bit pretentious. Crooning like a slightly more idiosyncratic Björk, Newsom's haunting vocals and delicate harp playing make even seemingly nonsensical lines like "Down in the green hay/Where monkey and bear usually lay" sound utterly striking. Plus, did we mention that she's a total babe?

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