It’s been a highly entertaining indie-rock parlor game these past few years, wondering how harpist/lyricist Joanna Newsom would follow up 2006’s Ys — arguably one of the most rewarding releases of the decade just concluded, and certainly one of its most unusual. How could she top that strange masterpiece? Now we have our answer: with a triple album. On Feb. 23, her label Drag City will release Newsom’s Have One on Me as a three-CD package, as well as a three-LP vinyl set, if that’s your thing.
This announcement confirms rumors that have been circulating since Drag City posted a mysterious cartoon hinting at the album’s imminent arrival earlier this month, though the triple-album part comes as a surprise. If you can get Drag City’s site to load — it seems to be down at the moment, perhaps due to a deluge of frenzied Joanna Newsom fans — you’ll be able to stream Have One on Me‘s spare, contemplative “’81.” (Opening lyric: “I found a little plot of land in the Garden of Eden/It was dirt, and dirt is all the same.”) (UPDATE: Drag City has removed the stream of “’81” due to technical issues; it should be back soon.) All further details, including the rest of Have One on Me‘s track list, remain under wraps.
Triple albums can be divisive, and this one will surely be no exception. Speaking as someone who loves Ys, though, I’d say that album proved that Newsom does exceedingly well with creative gambles. If there’s any artist from whom I’d like to hear three full discs of new material at once, it’s her.
How about you? Anyone else excited by this news? What do you hope the rest of Have One on Me will sound like?
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Photo credit: Annabel Mehran