Watch Joanna Newsom 'Look and Despair' in New Song

Singer debuted piano-led number at San Francisco's Treasure Island Music Festival

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Kyle McGovern WRITTEN BY
Kyle McGovern

In our review of Joanna Newsom's 2010 triple-album, Have One On Me, we noted a balance between the singer's "insistent harp pluck and a rekindled love of the piano." That love affair with the keyboard continues in a new piano-driven song Newsom debuted at San Francisco's Treasure Island Music Festival over the weekend.

Possibly titled "Look and Despair," the five-minute number finds Newsom visiting familiar lyrical territory: nature, mortality, rhyming "obsolescence" with "fluorescence." Newsom's imagery can be tough to parse, but there's no mistaking that time's relentless march onward weighs heavy on her heart: "The cause that they died for are lost in the idling bird calls," Newsom sings, her voice a tremble, "And the records that they left are cryptic at best." Well, not always.

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