JOANNA NEWSOM & THE YS STREET BAND “EP” 2007 Drag City
Photo: William Eggleston “Untitled”, 1980
This EP from the young Californian musician, whose title refers to Springsteen, is an intimate disc both in harp and voice. The successor of YS is a brave and visionary album that highlights the orchestral arrangements and the talented co-production of Van Dyke Parks. In these songs the arrangements of strings and parks are more discrete, the production feels measured and the harmonies are delicate and kind. The atmosphere is dear to progressive folk and to Newsom’s more or less declared influences: Pentagle and Bert Jansch solo, Incredible String Band, Karen Dalton and Jude Sill. The instrumentation used seems to recall the echoes and reverberations of the best traditions of the Anthology of American Folk Music with good evidence of guitar, banjo, drums, accordion, clarinets, harp, theremin and string coda. A simple and gentle image by William Eggleston in the cover is followed by a photograph of Mount Fuji with Blossom Tree by Kyomasa Miyashita, almost as if the two worlds were facing each other. As if Eggleston’s gaze revealed a pure enchantment to the world, where man and nature watch upon one another with the same interest and curiosity.