Joanna Newsom

Sunday, November 5, Bluebird Theater, 1-866-468-7621.

Joanna Newsom certainly is hush-hush these days. The young folkie princess has been shying away from interviews for this tour, instead relying on her buzz-worthy name and recently released EP, Ys, to generate interest. Raised in Nevada City, California, Newsom now resides in San Francisco. In a scene where musical eclecticism is the standard, her mountain-girl aesthetics and too-natural vocals are easy to write off as cleverly avant-garde. Her singing voice, which can howl to a pitch and then slow to a murmur, will undoubtedly be lumped in with that of other experimental female songsters such as Björk or Kate Bush. But Newsom is careful with her delivery. Like her predecessors, she understands her limited vocal ability well enough to be able to take advantage of its off-key impulsiveness. Couple that with her classical training (she's versed in harp and piano), and she's a perfect dichotomy of organic process and modern machinery. While she may not be a big talker, Newsom's work speaks volumes.

 
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