". . . the object of their dainty diction is a woman who plays brain-melting solos with only one hand on a million-stringed contraption the size of a small dinosaur while the other hand plucks out shapeshifting polyrhythms in time signatures so tangled they demand three or more semesters of calculus to comprehend, as poetry worthy of T.S. Eliot is propelled into the stratosphere by Beyonce-caliber vocal runs delivered with the splendor and swagger of Kate Bush then tethered back to Earth with pedal footwork so intricate it would trip up Michael Jackson — or, at the very least, Justin Timberlake."
This is Divers, from her latest album, of the same name.
And the lyrics:
A diver is my love
And I am his, if I am not deceived
Who takes one breath above for every hour below the sea
Who gave to me a jewel
Worth twice this woman's life, but would cost her less
Than laying at low tide to see her true love phosphoresce
And in an infinite regress
Tell me why is the pain of birth
Lighter borne than the pain of death?
I ain't saying that I loved you first
But I loved you best
I know we must abide
Each by the rules that bind us here:
The divers and the sailors and the women on the pier
But how do you choose your form?
How do you choose your name? How do you choose your life?
How do you choose the time you must exhale and kick and rise?
And in an infinite capsize
Like a bull tearing down the coast
Double hulls bearing double masts
I don’t know if you loved me most
But you loved me last
Recall the word you gave
To count your way across the depths of this arid world
Where you would yoke the waves and lay a bed of shining pearls
I dream it every night:
The ringing of the pail, the motes of sand dislodged, the shucking, quick and bright:
The twinned and cast off shells reveal a single heart of white
And in an infinite backslide
Ancient border, sink past the West
Like a sword at the bearer's fall
I can't claim that I knew you best
But did you know me at all?
A woman is alive, a woman is alive
You do not take her for a sign
In nacre on a stone, alone, unfaceted and fine
And never will I wed
I'll hunt the pearl of death to the bottom of my life
And ever hold my breath till I may be the diver's wife
See how the infinite divides
And the divers are not to blame
For the rift spanning distant shores
You don’t know my name
But I know yours