Joanna Newsom working on first new music in five years

California songwriter hopes to announce follow-up to Have One on Me ‘soon’

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Joanna NewsomAnnabel Mehran

Joanna Newsom has hinted at plans to release her first new music in nearly five years.

The Californian songwriter told Dazed that she hopes to announce a follow-up to 2010’s triple album Have One on Me “soon”, adding that her recent acting work on PT Anderson’s new film Inherent Vice had inevitably caused her to put music on the backburner for a while. Newsom appears in the film and narrates it too – she did the voiceover for the trailer that whipped up a storm of interest about the film's release.

On new material, Newsom said, “I’m working on something new – I should hopefully have a little more news soon. I’ve been working hard for a lot of those five years on a new idea.”

Asked whether she would consider taking on soundtrack work for films in the future (Inherent Vice is scored by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood), Newsom said that she would ­­­– if the right idea came along:

“I think so," she said. "It’s just a question of putting time and energy into the thing that is most rewarding at any given time. This movie was so incredibly rewarding and fun for me, and it did maybe defer some of my music work for a while, but it was totally worth it. I think I would do a film soundtrack if I was very inspired by the idea and the collaboration, knowing that it would maybe take away a little bit of my time spent on other music, touring and so forth. But I would really love to some day.”

Also in the interview, which you'll be able to read in full on Dazed soon, Newsom discusses her role in Inherent Vice, PT Anderson’s darkly comic film adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s novel of the same name.

Pynchon’s novel, published in 2009, follows the exploits of a pothead private detective, Larry ‘Doc’ Sportello (played in the film by Joaquin Phoenix), fighting down the fear as he picks his way through the murky moral climate of 1970s California in the aftermath of the Manson murders.

Asked if she thought the film had any contemporary relevance, Newsom said: “I think the film drums up a sense that dark forces are at work behind the scenes, and that’s a fear that many people I know struggle with, particularly in the States right now. There’s an incredible sense of – at the risk of sounding melodramatic – a conspiracy.

“I mean, right now, what’s happening in Ferguson and in New York is terrible; (you have these) terrible cases of cops murdering people and getting away with it. The words ‘civil rights violation’ come up a lot in this film, and I think that that applies more today than it has for decades.”

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