If you aren't up on your wistful indie-folk, it's time to get to know Joanna Newsom and her 2004 debut. It's been over 10 years since its original release (time flies huh?), but The Milk-Eyed Mender is still some of her finest work. Right from the start, "Bridges & Balloons" hypnotizes and confuses you, throwing you into the harp-laden world of this squeaky-voiced little wood nymph. Even if Ms. Newsom's singing takes a little getting used to – think Bjork in Appalachia? – you'll probably want to throw some drums under the minimal arrangements here, but I implore you to just leave the beauty alone! Anyway, I'll quit with the praise, 'cause once you listen to "The Book of Right-On," "Sadie," "Sprout & The Bean" and "Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie," you'll be all over this. 12 tracks. Recommended.
- music label: Drag City 2004