Joanna Newsom – Divers (Drag City; 2015)
Though shorter in length by Joanna Newsom’s standards, Divers, her fourth record, is wonderfully complex and full of the melodic storytelling the singer and harpist has become recognized for. The unique arrangements and varied instruments found in tracks like “Leaving the City” and “Goose Eggs” contribute to the feeling of a more contemporary version of the singer emerging while still inhabiting a space outside of popular folk pop. Divers exemplifies Newsom’s genius lilting lexicon; she effortlessly rhymes Ozymandian and Sapokanikan in a poetic ode to Manhattan on the album’s strongest track, “Sapokanikan” before guiding the album towards a pleasantly subdued second half. A beautiful balance of theatrical folk tales and melancholic melodies, Divers is a delectable delight.
Trial Track: “Sapokanikan”