Johanna Warren, “Figure 8”

Bryn Lovitt

Johanna Warren has chosen to sync the release of her forthcoming album numun with the phases of the moon. This kind of astrological concern is not out of character for the Portland songwriter, who has been known to perform her music surrounded by candles in what’s been called “a portal to an alternative realm.” Striking a fine balance between dreamy and dreary, “Figure 8” floats like a black balloon. The way that Warren sings lithely over twinkling strings recalls the polyrhythmic style of psych-folk’s most famous Joanna. A somber cello attempts to ground the astral vocal harmonies that soar as she sings, “Up here it’s not half as bad as it down there on the hot filthy ground.” Numun (pronounced New Moon) comes on the heels of last year’s east coast tour with fellow New Yorkers and alternative-folk artist Mitksi. The record drops this Spring on May 19 from New Paltz label Team Love. “Figure 8” is streaming below.

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