Record of the Day 5-7-2020

If you were to recommend the record Ys by Joanna Newsom to someone they might ask you to describe it.  You would say, well it is folk music with lots of harp and orchestral arrangements by Van Dyke Parks.  That might not convince them.  You might say there are only 5 songs, but the record is 55 minutes and one song is 17 minutes, but it all seems compact and not too long at all.  That definitely might not sell them on it.  You’d tell them the vocals might be considered odd by most people, but they fit the music perfectly.  That probably would not work either. You could also tell them that maybe it was the most compelling record of 2006.  That there was nothing else like it put out that year or in the years since even by Joanna Newson.  That she has put out good records since, but nothing quite as otherworldly or ethereal as Ys.  Maybe that would peak their interest.  You could get more specific then and tell them when you listened to the record many times over one winter and you used to think it sounded like a fairy tale put to music.  That it sounded not like a child’s fairy tale, but one about the realm of the fae where the stories are about when someone’s husband disappears and comes back after 10 years and looks exactly the same, but has purple hair and speaks a different language.  That you used to wonder while listening to it on the train who around you might be one of the fair folk trying to trick you.   The tales where the world is shown to you by one of the fairies through a door that is in the middle of a forest and the world you see is beautiful and glimmers brightly.  It pulls you toward it.  Yet you can tell everything has sharp edges and just going through the door might cut you and you’re allergic to the most beautiful of the flora and if you go there you better bring your EpiPen.  You are glad you can see it through the portal, but you don’t really think you want to go there.  You’ll just sit back and admire from a distance.  After that they might want to listen to it or maybe not.  I suppose it all depends on well you sold it.


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