All Songs At 15: Joanna Newsom Returns

 (Courtesy of the artist)
(Courtesy of the artist)

The inimitable harpist and singer/songwriter Joanna Newsom released new music this week, her first since 2010's Have One On Me. Every aspect of Newsom's work is precise and impeccable: her intricate harp work, her striking, delicate vocals and her sweeping lyrics. It's no wonder her records come out four to five years apart — a tapestry as rich as the one she weaves takes time.

Newsom's lyrical affinity for allegories, legends and personal reflection grabbed Bob's attention in 2006, just after the release of her sophomore album, Ys. He asked her to join him as Guest DJ on All Songs in order to dig deeper into her catalog and to find out what kind of music a one-of-a-kind musician turns to for inspiration. Her picks reveal a love of non-linear structure, moving arrangements and unusual tonal shifts and spacing. Listen to her picks and some selections from Ys, in addition to her conversation with Bob below.

Joanna Newsom's latest album, Divers, comes out Oct. 23 on Drag City.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright NPR. View this article on