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The Milk-Eyed Mender

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Album Review

Classically trained harpist Joanna Newsom uses her appreciation of Appalachian folk and bluegrass for an oddly alluring set of indie rock melodies. Milk-Eyed Mender, which follows her homemade EP releases Walnut Whales and Yarn and Glue, is rich in harvest colors. Newsom's childlike voice brings an unstudied grace to an innocent setting of songs, and such quirkiness is hard to find among most guitar-driven indie acts. From the more whimsical moments of "Peach, Plum, Pear" and "Inflammatory Writ" to the dovelike ballad "This Side of the Blue," Newsom welcomes the listener to sink into its imagination. Delicate harp arrangements are nicely sprinkled among specks of pianos, organs, and a harpsichord, only adding to the fascination that is Milk-Eyed Mender. Some may find the album to be overly sweet in spots due to Newsom's girlish voice; however, the fairytale-like appeal of Milk-Eyed Mender is far too intriguing to dismiss. Newsom exists in several musical spheres, one being a member of the Pleased, while not forgetting how wonderful it is to live in a warm place that leaves you bright-eyed and hopeful for only what is good in life.

Customer Reviews

The beginning is the end.

Have you ever forgot what you were saying mid-sentence? The most splendid ideas, chaotic visions, distended thoughts pause, shiver and admit defeat as they stumble away. Have you ever wondered where these moments of Truths and obscure emotion go? They wander long and they wander far. Across ugly mountaintops, decrepit ghost towns, unwanted children and coveted neighbours. Through crowds and lines and past your bass-line. They march slowly and contently ahead under streams and over flying crows until they reach strings and fingers and lurid voice. They gain new voice here as they carry forth from Ms. Newsom's own mind and onto magnetic tape, where they are captured and mirrored back to you. You are complete again.

Simply Amazing

I discovered Joanna early in 2007 and I fell in love right away. What a voice. She can and will bring you in another world!!!! Love her music and really hope that she will come with another album. If you do like her, also try Cocorosie. Enjoy!!!!


I literally just fell in love .... I have no words to describe the beautifulness I just heard
The 30 second previews to all 12 of these songs had my jaw droped and it left me speechless


Born: January 18, 1982 in Nevada City, CA

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Although Joanna Newsom's Appalachian-meets-avant-garde take on folk music is her most celebrated work, her range is even more inclusive than her solo career suggests: the classically trained harpist adds a decidedly different, textural sound to Nervous Cop, the noise rock trio that also features Deerhoof's Greg Saunier and Hella's Zach Hill, and she also plays keyboards for the Pleased, another San Francisco-area band more akin to Blondie or Television than her other projects. Like her resumé, Newsom's...
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