Sound alternatives

Those who discovered Joanna Newsom’s full-length debut The Milk-Eyed Mender (Drag City, 2004) fell without exception into two camps: either they ran screaming from her Betty-Boop-on-helium voice and tales of bridges, balloons and beans or found themselves enchanted and amazed. Here was a young woman playing the harp—the harp!—making pop music so original and magical that it sounded as if it emerged from the cracks in C. S. Lewis’s fabled wardrobe.

 

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