Pop Quiz: Joanna Newsom

Aidin Vaziri | Joanna Newsom recently released “Divers,” her first new studio album in five years. Since setting out into the world with her 2004 debut, “The Milk-Eyed Mender” — her full-size orchestral harp in tow — the 33-year-old Nevada City native and Mills College alumna has become an indie hero, turned the world onto her eclectic influences ranging from Appalachian folk songs to Renaissance madrigals, and settled down with her husband, actor Andy Samberg. She spoke to us from her home in Los Angeles.

Q: Your latest album alone took five years to make. Do you feel like you have come full circle because you started as an unknown commodity, went out there and proved yourself and now you’re back in a space where there’s no pressure?

A: I think even at the time it wasn’t about proving myself. It was about having an opportunity to potentially play music as my living, as my job. I felt really excited and hoped people would like it, but I never had that plucky, I’m-going-to-prove-myself mentality. I definitely have slowed down a little bit in my process.

Q: Why is that?

A: The overarching structure for this record was so complicated it just took so long. I didn’t even know how long it was going to take. I was working the whole time. So far, I haven’t had that artistic crisis of, why bother? It’s more about waiting for the good idea.

Q: Is it hard to stay in touch with the magic as you grow older and maybe more cynical?

A: I don’t think so. Life pulls me in a lot of different directions, but there’s still this set of priorities that have survived my life. I’ve been really lucky that I get to keep making music; it infuses the act. There’s something sacred with how rare it is that I get to do that.

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