As much as I tried to appreciate the music of Joanna Newsom, her childish mew always made me feel a bit like I was watching Sesame Street, and I stalled each time I tried. But she is no doubt an intensely poetic, smart lyricist, and I found today that hearing her song “Sadie” covered by Texas artist Danny Malone finally brings it out somewhere that I can dig into it.
Danny Malone is from Austin, and this cover is a few years old, off his I Am Not Alive EP. His raw tenor with a hint of warble reminds me of Conor Oberst, or Nate Ruess from The Format (coming to Boulder next Friday with fun.!), both artists I enjoy immensely. The gal who recommended I listen to this cover said, “I didn’t decide that I liked it until the second time through,” but me, the affinity was more immediate.
Disguised as a rambling alt-country tune, this builds and then explodes like some sort of orange sunrise. But hell — what a sad song.
Sadie (Joanna Newsom cover) – Danny Malone
This is an old song, these are old blues
and this is not my tune, but it’s mine to use
and the seabirds where the fear once grew
will flock with a fury and they will bury what’d come for you
And all that I want, and all that I need
and all that I’ve got is scattered like seed
and all that I knew is moving away from me
and all that I know is blowing like tumbleweed
And the mealy worms in the brine will burn
in a salty pyre among the fauns and ferns
And the love we hold, and the love we spurn
Will never grow cold, only taciturn…