Joanna Newsom came on strong earlier in the '00s, peaked early and has seemed to all but disappear from the limelight now that the decade is winding to a close. But the odd, arty folk of her debut, The Milk-Eyed Mender, lives on in Polka Dot Dot Dot. That's not to say that the young Olympia trio is a Newsom ripoff in any way. However, the craftily named threesome (Jordan O'Jordan, Onyx, Twig Palace) harnesses much of the same sound and approach — only in a far more straightforward and disarming way than the divisive Newsom. Built around ukulele, shaky voices and everything from medieval folk to Tin Pan Alley, the band's new album, Syzygy, is full of sighing sadness and plucky strums. As humble yet fanciful as the act is, though, be warned: When the dude sings, he kind of sounds like Jack Johnson.
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