Simon Joyner’s got the life. Since he first rose to prominence two decades ago, rubbing lo-fi elbows with the Mountain Goats and Will Oldham, Joyner has quietly lived and worked in Omaha with his wife and three kids, releasing delicate, poetic music every few years. His latest release, his 13th proper album since 1992, is called Grass, Branch & Bone. It ambles from harvest-ready, prairie-field folk on “You Got Under My Skin” to travelin’-tune rumble on “Jefferson Reed” and even dark elegy on “In My Drinking Dream.” At this point, Joyner is a songwriting pro, penning meditative tunes that examine his position on the map as well as his pervasive inner monologue: “‘Cause my violin just exploded, man, from this goddamn Georgia heat / It happened in the middle of the night, I swear my soul was takin’ leap.” Across the record, he is as deliberate in his slightly ragged vocal delivery as in his spritely acoustic plucks. Joyner’s Midwestern influence is felt far down the Saddle Creek roster, and it’s neat to follow the career of a musician whose work morphs into different shapes as his life does the same. Hear the entire album below.
Grass, Branch & Bone is out 3/31 via Woodsist. Pre-order the digital copy here and the physical copy here.