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Baker's Dozen

Found In Translation: Gwenno's Baker's Dozen
Ronnie Angel Pope , June 8th, 2022 11:00

Covering all things psychogeography and domesticity, Gwenno talks Ronnie Angel Pope through the albums that capture the atmosphere of the places and communities that matter to her


Joanna Newsom - Divers

Obviously, anyone under the age of 30 can’t relate to this experience, but she was the first artist I found on the internet, I remember ‘The Sprout And The Bean’ being the first video I discovered. What I loved was how ancient and old world her sound was. I love how uncompromising she is vocally, the other thing that struck me initially was the fact that it’s still so rare for a woman to be that bold with her vocal. The fact that she doesn’t make that many albums and isn’t accessible on the internet makes it even better, and even more ironic that she was the first person I found online.

What I really love is her musicality, it’s very vast. I wouldn’t in a billon years be able to compare myself to her in any way, but I think as an artist who is a storyteller, creating other worlds, I think that what strikes me with her quite often is that she encompasses centuries with the depth of her songwriting, she makes time kind of elastic. I love things of a time and place that are specifically that moment, but I also think that it’s really incredible when people can be so all encompassing. I think she manages to do that because of her influences and her instrumentation and her approach to singing which again feels of another time and place, you could never just call it old fashioned.

I think Divers, for me, is her most coherent album. She’s an amazing storyteller and the songwriting evolves every time she makes a record. On the first song, ‘Anecdotes’, it’s the way the music changes, it’s so subtle, and it just breaks me. As much as I love minimalism in music, when an artist comes along and they have a great understanding musically it’s really striking. Especially during lockdown I was like “Come on, Joanna, I know there’s a new album there, we’re all ready!” Especially in a world where things have been turned upside down completely, she’s the perfect artist because she’s in a parallel universe. Maybe that’s the universe we need to be in.