The Milk-Eyed Mender is the debut album by American singer-songwriter Joanna Newsom, released on March 23 2004 on the Drag City label. Joanna Newsom wrote all the songs on the album except for "Three Little Babes", a traditional Appalachian song. According to the liner notes, Joanna plays "a Lyon & Healy style 15 harp, a wurlitzer electric piano, a harpsichord, and piano." A bandmate in San Francisco band The Pleased, Noah Georgeson, produced and recorded the album, as well as contributing guitar to two tracks and backing vocals to one. Cover art embroidery is by Emily Prince and photographs are by Alissa Anderson. Newsom thanks former touring partners Will Oldham, Devendra Banhart, and Vetiver, along with many others. In 2009, Pitchfork named The Milk-Eyed Mender the 47th greatest album of the decade. The website also named "Peach, Plum, Pear" the 197th Greatest Song of the 2000s and "Sprout & The Bean" the 229th. Read more on Last.fm.
Ys (pronounced /ˈiːs/) is the second album by Joanna Newsom. It was released by Drag City on November 14, 2006. The album was named for the mythical city of Ys, supposedly built on the coast of Brittany, France, and later swallowed by the ocean. The album features full orchestra arrangements by Van Dyke Parks on four of the five tracks. Parks also contributes accordion. Newsom's harp and vocals were recorded by Steve Albini and the orchestra was recorded by Tim Boyle. Newsom and Parks produced the album and it was mixed by Jim O'Rourke. The recording process was completely analog, on two 24-track tape recorders. The music was mixed to tape and mastered at Abbey Road Studios. Bass guitar is contributed by Lee Sklar, and electric guitar by jazz guitarist Grant Geissman. Don Heffington played percussion and Matt Cartsonis played mandolin and banjo. Bill Callahan provides backing vocals on the song "Only Skin", while on "Emily" these are sung by Joanna's sister Emily Newsom, for whom the song is named. The album, particularly the length of the songs and orchestral arrangements, was inspired by the 1971 Roy Harper album Stormcock. In September 2007, Harper supported Joanna Newsom at her Royal Albert Hall performance, playing Stormcock in its entirety. Newsom was also impressed by Van Dyke Parks' album Song Cycle, and asked him to collaborate on Ys after listening to that 1968 record. On her fall 2007 tour, Newsom performed the album in its entirety, backed by a 29-piece orchestra. Read more on Last.fm.
Have One on Me is the third studio album by American singer-songwriter Joanna Newsom, released on February 23, 2010 via Drag City as the official follow up to the harpirst's highly acclaimed second studio release, 2006's Ys. It is a triple album produced by herself and mixed by long-time collaborators Jim O'Rourke and Noah Georgeson, with the accompanying arrangements by Ryan Francesconi. Have One on Me is considered to be Newsom's most accessible release and finds her exploring new sounds, such as the inclusion of instruments like tambura and kaval and the further development of other elements of her sound — the harpsichord, electric guitar and a progression in the orchestral accompaniment. She also flirts with genres such as jazz and blues in some tracks, while adding drums in others. Many of the songs are also reminiscent of her previous releases and show a natural progression. The lyrics have been described as more straightforward than those of Ys, though still cryptic. The album is also her first since The Milk-Eyed Mender to include tracks played on the piano instead of the harp. Because of health problems and natural reasons, by the time of the recording sessions Newsom's voice had changed in comparison to previous works. Read more on Last.fm.