"Peach, Plum, Pear"- Joanna Newsom

This song, like many of Joanna Newsom’s songs, is an acquired taste. But I think it’s worth the handful of listens it takes to get past her odd, freak folk façade and appreciate the beauty of the song she’s written. To begin with I could only imagine how wonderful the song would be if it was sung ‘right’ by someone else (I even hunted down a cover of the song by Final Fantasy). But then, imperceptibly over the fifth or so listen, her odd and twisty way of singing took over and I didn’t need to imagine that glamorized version anymore, because somewhere along the way her unique, squeaky caterwaul had turned into its own kind of beauty to my ears.

“Peach, Plum, Pear” is still a lot more accessible than some of her other songs. I’m thinking especially of “Emily”, a twelve minute long song/story that is more spoken than sung and has only a slight amount of accompaniment. That’s still a little more Joanna Newsom than I‘m ready for.

Another song by her that I *would* recommend, also from her 2004 album “The Milk-Eyed Mender”, is “Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie” (she seems to have an affinity for lists). It’s a more traditional folk song, and so it sounds like it was sung by a completely different person. I guess it’s proof she can sing ‘well’ aka traditionally.

Joanna Newsom- Peach, Plum, Pear


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