NO HARM DONE

This album is so great. All the songs so good. So decent, comforting. No Harm Done. hallelujah! It’s as good as 15 down sleeping bags and a fire after a dance. Salut. Yeah. Smiles and laughs in it too. – Michael Hurley

In her new record No Harm Done, Josephine Foster sings, “I would like to talk to You, bowed mirror of my Soul.” And then she talks to our souls too, giving us a mirror that heartbreakingly reflects our now, but the reflection is somehow slanting, for other times and places come streaming in, and registers of feeling only her lyrics and voice and music can bring about. Like Nashville meeting the 1600s, if our souls could feel like that. It is a record bathed in goodness and strangeness. It is open and revelatory. And Foster is a visionary, I am sure of it. – Amina Cain

Hunkered down in Nashville from March through June 2020, mercurial singer-songwriter Josephine Foster, together with guitarist Matthew Schneider, conjured a masterpiece cycle of songs and functional love letter. Envision a gyre of musical history whose curves might be flattened like a collapsible camping cup, compressing history so that madrigals and medieval ballads lie beside weeping pedal steel in erotic conjugation. Imagine Anaïs Nin and Cowboy Jack Clement proving by example why ‘we must believe in magic’ as they pull timeless melodies from the swirls of tradition as if they were the musical iteration of a cotton candy vendor divining spun sugar threads into clouds. Matthew Schneider’s humility belies his prodigious skills as a guitarist and improviser. Pudding that’s been proven on Jaimie Branch’s Fly Or Die and his own Moon Brothers recordings. Josephine Foster’s incantatory words lay woven together like twigs with steel strings and saliva, a humble nest yet strong enough to support a young lion. Those in search of these ethereal delicacies need not build elaborate cliffside scaffolds of bamboo to gather these nests for special soups. For the nutrition in this saliva is aural medication. No harm done.  – Chris Davis