Divers (album)

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Divers
Joanna Newsom - Divers.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 23, 2015 (2015-10-23)
Genre
Length51:52
LabelDrag City
Producer
Joanna Newsom chronology
Have One on Me
(2010)
Divers
(2015)
Singles from Divers
  1. "Sapokanikan"
    Released: August 10, 2015
  2. "Leaving the City"
    Released: September 20, 2015

Divers is the fourth studio album by American musician Joanna Newsom, released on October 23, 2015 via Drag City.[1]

The album was revealed on August 10, 2015, along with its first song, "Sapokanikan", which was released digitally as the first single.[2] The cover art, album packaging, and music video for the album's title track feature the work of artist Kim Keever. The music video was directed by Paul Thomas Anderson with whom Newsom worked for the film Inherent Vice.[3][4]

Speaking about the album's creative process in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, she said "I ... spent a year or two on the instrumental arrangements and overdubs. I wanted the character and colors of the instrumentation to shift definitively, from song to song, which entailed a wide pool of collaborators and a lengthy collaborative process with each person." She further described the process of making the album as "probably the most fun I’ve had making a record".[5] Entertainment Weekly also reported Newsom "as using an arsenal of nearly a dozen keyboards and synths including clavichords, Mellotrons and Marxophones" for the album while members of the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra feature as players on the album.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic88/100[7]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[8]
The A.V. ClubB+[9]
The Daily Telegraph4/5 stars[10]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[11]
The Guardian4/5 stars[12]
The Independent4/5 stars[13]
NME4/5[14]
Pitchfork8.5/10[15]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[16]
Spin8/10[17]

Divers received critical acclaim, achieving an aggregate score of 88 on Metacritic based upon thirty-three reviews.[7] It receives a similarly high score of 8.6 on AnyDecentMusic?, with the collated scores of thirty-five reviews.[18] Critics praised the complexity of Newsom's lyrics and arrangements, while noting that the record is more accessible and compact than previous releases. In a positive review for Exclaim!, Stephen Carlick wrote that "Divers feels like the culmination of all of Newsom's incredible work over the past decade. It's the sound of an artist operating at the peak of her powers, employing all her greatest strengths at once to create an assured, moving work that corroborates what Have One On Me already suggested: that Joanna Newsom is one of the finest songwriters of this generation."[19]

Pitchfork awarded the album the 'Best New Music' tag, and stated that "on her fourth album, Divers, Joanna Newsom comes down in size if not scope". They go on to describe the record as "a love letter in the form of a reckoning with death, Divers deals with making tangible the huge mass of impending doom about the loss of love. You know, the small stuff. It's a gorgeous record, full of her usual harp wilyness and baroque rhythms".[15]

James Skinner, writing for Drowned in Sound, concluded by saying that the record is, "Conveyed with sincerity, warmth and the musicianship and love of language and storytelling that sets - has always set - Joanna Newsom apart, Divers is a colossal achievement."[20] Skinner awarded the album full marks. The Skinny also gave the record a perfect score, saying that after listening to the record, "It’ll be hard not to conclude that this is surely one of the albums of the year"[21]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Accolade Year Rank
Drowned in Sound Drowned in Sound's Favourite Albums of the Year 2015 2015
Exclaim! Exclaim!'s Top 10 Folk & Country Albums 2015 2015
FLOOD Magazine FLOOD's Best of 2015 2015
The Guardian The Best Albums of 2015 2015
Magnet Magnet's Top 25 Albums of 2015 2015
musicOMH musicOMH’s Top 50 Albums Of 2015 2015
NME NME'S Albums of the Year 2015 2015
No Ripcord Top Albums of 2015 2015
Pitchfork The 50 Best Albums of 2015 2015
Readers' Top 50 Albums 2015
Stereogum The 50 Best Albums of 2015 2015
The Wire Releases of the Year 1–50 2015

Track listing[edit]

The track listing was officially announced by Drag City on August 10, 2015.[34]

All songs written by Joanna Newsom, except "Same Old Man" (traditional).

No.TitleLength
1."Anecdotes"6:27
2."Sapokanikan"5:11
3."Leaving the City"3:48
4."Goose Eggs"5:01
5."Waltz of the 101st Lightborne"5:22
6."The Things I Say"2:35
7."Divers"7:07
8."Same Old Man"2:26
9."You Will Not Take My Heart Alive"4:01
10."A Pin-Light Bent"4:26
11."Time, As a Symptom"5:28
Total length:51:52

Release[edit]

Joanna Newsom notched her first No. 1 on Billboard's Alternative Albums chart (dated Nov. 14) as Divers, her fourth LP and first in five years, launches with 14,000 sold, according to Nielsen Music. The California native also logs her best sales week, topping the debut frame of 2006's Ys (9,000). Divers is also a No. 2-opener on Vinyl Albums, with 3,000 LPs sold. [35]

Personnel[edit]

Performance[edit]

Production[edit]

  • Joanna Newsom – producer, songwriter, harp, piano, keyboard and vocal arrangements
  • Steve Albini – engineer
  • Ryan Francesconi – arrangements, conductor
  • Noah Georgeson – engineer, producer and mixing
  • John Golden – mastering
  • Kim Keever – cover art
  • Samur Khouja – engineer
  • Annabel Mehran – photographer
  • Paul Thomas Anderson – photographer
  • Nico Muhly – orchestral arrangements on "Anecdotes"
  • David Longstreth – orchestral arrangements on "Time, As a Symptom"
  • Ryan Francesconi – additional arrangements
  • Dan Cantrell – additional arrangements
  • Noah Georgeson – additional arrangements
  • Kevin Barker – additional arrangements
  • Neal Morgan – drum and percussion arrangements
  • Peter Newsom – drum and percussion arrangements
  • Dan Osborn – layout designer
  • Justin Rice – engineer
  • Sadaharu Yagi – engineer

Charts[edit]

Chart (2015) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[36] 63
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[37] 30
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[38] 25
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[39] 70
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[40] 81
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[41] 14
French Albums (SNEP)[42] 168
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[43] 22
Irish Albums (IRMA)[44] 8
Italian Albums (FIMI)[45] 93
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[46] 26
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[47] 91
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[48] 56
UK Albums (OCC)[49] 10
US Billboard 200[50] 30

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Joanna Newsom Announces New Album Divers". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  2. ^ "Joanna Newsom "Sapokanikan" (Official Video) - YouTube". youtube.com. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  3. ^ "Joanna Newsom Returns (With Paul Thomas Anderson)". ArtInfo. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
  4. ^ "Joanna Newsom Announces North American Tour, Will Screen Paul Thomas Anderson-Directed "Divers" Video in Movie Theaters". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
  5. ^ "Joanna Newsom Interview". September 10, 2015. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  6. ^ "Press Release" (PDF). September 15, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Reviews for Divers by Joanna Newsom". Metacritic. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  8. ^ Phares, Heather. "Divers – Joanna Newsom". AllMusic. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  9. ^ Reiff, Corbin (October 23, 2015). "Joanna Newsom: Divers". The A.V. Club. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  10. ^ Brown, Helen (October 27, 2015). "Joanna Newsom, Divers, review: 'a magic carpet ride'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  11. ^ Maerz, Melissa (October 21, 2015). "Joanna Newsom is marvelous and mercurial on new album Divers: EW review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  12. ^ Petridis, Alexis (October 22, 2015). "Joanna Newsom: Divers review – deeply idiosyncratic, straightforwardly striking". The Guardian. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  13. ^ Gill, Andy (October 23, 2015). "Joanna Newsom, Divers – album review: A dazzling imagination takes wing on a richly diverse comeback". The Independent. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  14. ^ Monroe, Jazz (October 16, 2015). "Joanna Newsom – 'Divers'". NME. Archived from the original on February 6, 2016. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  15. ^ a b Snapes, Laura (October 19, 2015). "Joanna Newsom: Divers". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  16. ^ Hermes, Will (October 20, 2015). "Divers". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  17. ^ Sackllah, David (October 26, 2015). "Review: Joanna Newsom Doesn't Need a Triple Lindy to Make a Splash on 'Divers'". Spin. Retrieved May 8, 2016.
  18. ^ http://www.anydecentmusic.com/review/7587/Joanna-Newsom-Divers.aspx
  19. ^ Carlick, Stephen (October 20, 2015). "Joanna Newsom – Divers". Exclaim!. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  20. ^ http://drownedinsound.com/releases/19073/reviews/4149498
  21. ^ http://www.theskinny.co.uk/music/reviews/albums/joanna-newsom-divers
  22. ^ "Drowned in Sound's Favourite Albums of the Year 2015". Drowned in Sound. Drowned in Sound. December 17, 2015. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  23. ^ "Exclaim!'s Top 10 Folk & Country Albums 2015". Exclaim!. Ian Danzig. December 4, 2015. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  24. ^ "FLOOD's Best of 2015: Music (#25–5)". FLOOD Magazine. Anthemic Agency. December 7, 2015. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  25. ^ "The Best Albums of 2015". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. December 2, 2015. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  26. ^ "BEST OF 2015". Magnet Magazine. Magnet Magazine. December 18, 2015. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  27. ^ "musicOMH's Top 50 Albums Of 2015". musicOMH. OMH. December 18, 2015. Retrieved January 6, 2015.
  28. ^ "NME'S Albums of the Year 2015". nme.com. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
  29. ^ "TOP ALBUMS OF 2015". No Ripcord. 2015-12-17. Retrieved 2016-01-06.
  30. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2015". Pitchfork. December 16, 2015. Retrieved December 16, 2015.
  31. ^ "Readers' Poll Results 2015". Pitchfork. January 5, 2016. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  32. ^ "The 50 Best Albums Of 2015". stereogum.com. 2015-12-01. Retrieved 2015-12-10.
  33. ^ "2015 Rewind: Releases of the Year 1–50". The Wire. No. 383. London. January 2016. p. 32 – via Exact Editions. (subscription required)
  34. ^ "Joanna Newsom Divers". August 10, 2015. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  35. ^ Rutherford, Kevin (4 November 2015). "Joanna Newsom Makes a Splash Atop Alternative & Folk Albums Charts". Billboard. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  36. ^ Ryan, Gavin (October 31, 2015). "ARIA Albums: 5 Seconds of Summer Top Australian Chart". Noise11. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
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  38. ^ "Ultratop.be – Joanna Newsom – Divers" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  39. ^ "Ultratop.be – Joanna Newsom – Divers" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  40. ^ "Joanna Newsom Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  41. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Joanna Newsom – Divers" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  42. ^ "Lescharts.com – Joanna Newsom – Divers". Hung Medien. Retrieved November 5, 2015.
  43. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  44. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 44, 2015". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved October 31, 2015.
  45. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Joanna Newsom – Divers". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
  46. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Joanna Newsom – Divers". Hung Medien. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  47. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Joanna Newsom – Divers". Hung Medien. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
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