If you’re eager to get your week off to a beautiful start, look no further: Padma Newsome has a new album, The Vanity of Trees, out this Friday, Nov. 16, on New Amsterdam Records, and National Sawdust Log has the privilege of sharing the premiere of the album’s first video.
Newsome, as most Log readers will know, is an Australian composer, multi-instrumentalist, and vocalist. He’s most familiar to American listeners for his work alongside Bryce Dessner, Raechel Elliott, Thomas Kozumplik, and others in the divinely indefinable group Clogs, as well as his orchestrations for Dessner’s other band, The National. If you’re a new-music lover who follows New Amsterdam closely, you’ll also recall that Newsome provided one of the three distinctive voices Sarah Kirkland Snider employed for her ravishing song cycle Unremembered.
The Vanity of Trees, according to the label, is “a sonic essay inspired by the landscape of Padma Newsome’s home of the past 14 years, Mallacoota, Australia. The small town of about 1,000 people sits along an inlet of the Tasman Sea in the far eastern corner of Victoria, along the edge of wild sea and forest.” A sense of that wild beauty is conveyed aptly in the video for the punningly titled “Trees to Meet You,” filmed by Susannah Keebler. Have a look… and then read on to learn how you can hear Newsome’s entire album in Brooklyn tonight.
Newsome, via New Amsterdam, offers a brief explanation of the video’s inspiration:
“I made this film to show the local environment and trees: initially the Hugging Trees, and then two She-oaks, or casuarinas, a conifer-like species, which can be both monoecious and dioecious, in other words, both genders on the same bush, or distinct genders on separate bushes. Appropriately, the film pays tribute to the marriage equality (especially the Australian plebiscite). The film also features footage from a canoe trip up the Betka River, Mallacoota, Victoria.”
You can read quite a bit more about the album – in even more poetic and impressionistic terms – on the New Amsterdam website. Be forewarned: The descriptions contained therein are virtually guaranteed to make you want to hear the entire album… and if you happen to live in or near Brooklyn, you can do just that tonight at Covenhoven, a classy, cozy Prospect Heights beer garden.
The event is the kick-off for a new community get-together series hosted by New Amsterdam. In addition to hearing Newsome’s album complete, you’ll also be among the first to sample some of the label’s 2019 releases. The hang starts at 6pm, and Newsome’s album gets spun at 7:30… admission is free, with food, drinks, and merch available throughout. For more details, have a look at the Facebook event page.
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