Joanna Newsom is Mia Doi Todd on helium. Granted, Joanna Newsom sounds like any number of people on helium, sometimes even herself. But Los Angeles gloss-folkie Todd is an especially appropriate counterpart: Her voice is odd and sweet, and her lyrics touch political economics and household appliances, yet always come to rest on human emotions. But where Newsom's quick-change vocal syncopations make room for those long, long stories she has to tell, Todd stretches syllables and allows for the throaty vibrato and slow moans needed to convey her own poetic tales.
Todd performs at Penny Arcade, A Semi Acoustic Music Showcase with Bart Davenport and Willow Willow.