Joanna Newsom has announced the long-awaited follow-up to 2010’s amazing Have One on Me; it is called Divers, and it is out on October 23rd on Drag City.
Alongside the album announcement, Newsom has released a new track from the album titled “Sapokanikan,” accompanied by a music video directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, who worked with Newsom in the past on “Inherent Vice” and whose last music video was for Fiona Apple’s “Hot Knife.” The track itself is not a new song, as Newsom has played it live throughout the years under the title “Look and Despair,” but to have an official studio version after five long, grueling years of silence makes you look past that and accept what she gives you.
The track combines the intricate, beautiful lyricism Newsom brought forth in “Ys” and “Have One on Me” with a lingering, nostalgic playfulness reminiscent of “The Milk-Eyed Mender.” Strange to Newsom’s recent works, “Sapokanikan” falls at a little over 5 minutes and not into a 10-minute ballad. In these short 5 minutes, Newsom describes the fall of civilizations and rise of monuments in an attempt to remember lost figures all while supporting her ideas with constant literary allusions to Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ozymandias” as her lyrics are adorned by melodies made with pianos and celestas which are complemented with snare drums, trombones, and recorders to bring forth a perfect classic Joanna Newsom masterpiece.
Watch the music video to “Sapokanikan”:
Watch Joanna Newsom perform “Sapokanikan” at 2013’s Pitchfork Music Festival:
By Diego Bermejo