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Joanna Newsom & The Ys Street Band E.P.

Joanna Newsom & The Ys Street Band E.P.

24 Apr 2007

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 9 April 2007
  • Label: Drag City
  • Total Length: 24:06
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B002EJMJHW
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,610 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ben sharpe on 8 Aug 2007
Format: Audio CD
I don't suppose you need me to tell you that Miss Joanna Newsom is some kind of genius. What you might need me to tell you is that Y's is, it would seem just a taster of what she has to offer. Here on the ridiculously expensive but almost justifiable (if only due to the quality of music on offer here) 3 track Y's Street Band EP we see a taster of the first new material since the aforementioned Y's if only in the form of one new song and two reworkings.

New track Colleen as showcased at ATP is as beautiful and as remarkable as remembered. I remember on the night I had mixed expectations of something new, so often have a band I loved been picked up by the media and then delivered something ridiculously bad or at least lacking the ingenuity of their early work. Joanna it would seem has no such problem for now, Colleen is outstanding, a true work of genius, an instant classic, timeless and charming, a song that puts what was possibly the most outstanding opening track to an album in sometime, Emily from Y's, into the background, or at least out of the limelight. If anyone had a problem with her voice as on the Milk Eyed Mender then here is a more palatable, less shrill tone to sweep up those curious outsiders, those who take that little extra convincing, those who think more than two colours in an outfit is risky, how can you fail to love Colleen?

Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie from the Milk Eyed Mender & Cosmia from Y's are reworked in a more intimate setting, the latter given a lush new feel, this is a portable Cosmia, Cosmia as played by Joanna and her friends in a room full of friends. Intimate and inventive and more charming for it.

If expectations weren't high enough already for any possible follow up to the landmark Y's then they have just been raised considerably with this release.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 April 2007
Format: Audio CD
Joanna Newsom is one of the great indie musicians of our time -- just look at last year's "Ys," a sprawling masterpiece of freakfolk.

And after the solemnities of "Ys," apparently Newsom has decided to go a bit more lighthearted. "Joanna Newsom and the Ys Street Band" is an unpretentious little EP, with some new songs and new takes on older songs -- a fun little treat.

It opens with the strong folky chords of "Colleen," a slice of Celtic-flavoured balladry that trickles through an oddball melody. "I tell it as I best know how," croons Newsom in her crazy-fairy voice. "Pick me up and toss me round/I lost my shoes and tore my best gown..."

She then follows it up with new versions of two older songs: the gentle haunting reimagining of "Clam Crab Cockle Cowrie," and a full-band version of "Cosmia," which seems nicely fleshed-out and polished.

After to the legendary grandeur of "Ys," this little EP seems relaxed and laid-back, as if Newsom and her band had sauntered into a coffee shop and done an impromptu set. They're done with an ear for fun, but that doesn't take the delicate, appealing edge from the music.

Her twangly, delicate harp is matched up with some decent banjo tunes, and what sounds like some soft drums, all mingled together. In "Clam Crab Cockle Cowrie," we mostly just get gentle strums from the harp. And over it all is Newsom's creaky, meandering vocals, wandering through the melody like a sleepy fairy.

One new song and two reworkings, but "Joanna Newsom and the Ys Street Band" is stil worth getting for anyone who likes eerie, weird little folk songs.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By William J. Walker VINE VOICE on 17 April 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
An EP with only three tracks, only one of which being a new song. Doesn't sound particularly promising does it?
Well by way of an answer it should be pointed out that all the tracks are new recordings and the total runtime is just over 24 minutes.

The songs were recorded at the end of the U.S. tour (Autumn 2006 in California)after having to cancel three gigs due to a lost voice, and were recorded 'live' in the studio with her tour band with minimal tinkering.Her vocal troubles certainly aren't evident here, although her voice seems to get richer and less spikey with each new recording.

Anyone lucky enough to have caught her live shows earlier this year will be familiar with the new song here ("Colleen") and the new version of "Clam,Crab,Cockle,Cowrie"(from "The Milk Eyed Mender"album) but british fans will not have heard "Cosmia" in this form as they had the benefit of orchestral backing not available on the american tour.

"Colleen" starts the EP off with a frenetic energy and is typically untypical of anything else out there, it's kind of folky, kind of sea shanty and breaks the verses with a strange flamenco/belly dancing jig that should have you on your feet and dancing.
It's followed by a new recording of "Clam,Crab,Cockle,Cowrie" which is fully justified as it is very different from the album version and benefits from the addition of an accompanying voice, richer instrumentation and the more controlled vocal delivery already evident on the "Ys" album.
The final track("Cosmia") is in some ways the most exciting as it takes the original and expands it to double its previous lengh replacing the orchestration with a rich variety of sounds utilising the band to its full.
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