Dec 12, 2015

My 2015 - Joanna Newsom “Sapiokanikan” video

Joanna Newsom collapses space, time, and street corners in the charmingly lo-fi, jaunty video for “Sapokanikan.” Her lyrics already traverse history (“The cause is Ozymandian”) and her fleet orchestral tapestry is timeless, like antique furniture re-presented for a chic storefront. Shot over the course of a single evening gloaming in her former haunts of Manhattan’s East Village and Washington Square Park, the “Sapokanikan” clip is particularly remarkable for how well-timed it is to the song’s instrumental bobs and weaves. As flutes spiral in volume and clarity at the three-minute climax, Newsom skips past a clot of fire engines, bathing the scene in shrill red light that matches the moment’s intensity. And then, just past her solemn face in the final shots, a food truck pops up. Her camera leaves her at the subway, and all is well in the world. — H.B.

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