03 January 2006

The Duck With Two Backs

Fantastic new Joanna Newsom e.p - available soon on Fonal. It's a collaboration with one of my favourite artists of the last coupla years Kemialliset Ystavat

Joanna Newsom - The Duck With Two Backs

I'm sure regular readers (?! and diminishing by the ten...) can imagine the thin shards of music it's constructed from: it sort of knots together like a Blair Witch totem; from a sly, generationally absent, bit of folklore (actually stealing on the Japanese legend of the Kappa in the most part) to a twinkling drone (though drone isn't the word to describe this - it's not in the least heavy) piece which ends up sounding not unlike carousel music played on twigs, rubber bands and the kind of ten foot one-string guitars that Einsturzende Neubuaten used to make.

The lyrics are based around the sound of a man and his horse being dragged to their death in a deep pool "only nine arms wide, with blessings at the side" and at one point about halfway through Joanna is replaced by a choir of Finnish school kids, gleefully singing the refrain "My cuffs are see-through now, my shirt is like a mirror" (sounds better in Finnish).

In many ways it's a distillation (with horses and river sprites) of Nick Cave's novel And The Ass Saw The Angel, which I re-read last year (good; like Dylan Thomas on moonshine and sugar-cane) and thus the kind of song I always expected Nick would get round to doing but never did because he fell in love or something.

This is bound to be in my top seven records of 2006 and will almost certainly be in the top three. One thing is certain: the sound of sticks in wet towels is the new clonk and for that all you crunkers out there should be eternally grateful. Notebooks out, plagiarists!


Phillip said...

Is that Joanna Newsom song meant to be a link? Coz it's broken.

Loki said...

no...not a link, just a case of misplaced identity...

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