WATCH: Joanna Newsom Takes “Leaving the City” To “Jools Holland”
The Divers track is stripped down to just harp and voice.
“Leaving the City” is a standout track on an album designed to stand out. With its distorted, tightly curling mellotron lines and the stomp of her brother Peter’s drums behind her, Joanna Newsom runs through lines of in-bent poetry with a kind of verve that gives the “Leaving the City” a grooviness never before seen in her work.
Solo, on the UK’s Later… with Jools Holland, Newsom goes through those same runs with only her deft harpwork as accompaniment. The stark take is no less compelling than the Divers cut, and the camerawork highlights just how much of a rhythmic feat “Leaving the City” truly is; between her left hand’s bass, her right hand’s lead, and her singing voice, she’s playing three different rhythms at once. You can see for yourself below.