Joanna Newsom slams Spotify as ‘built from the ground up to circumvent the idea of paying artists’

Unsurprisingly, new album 'Divers' won't be streaming on the service

Ahead of the release of her long-awaited fourth album ‘Divers’, Joanna Newsom has explained why it won’t be streaming on Spotify, slamming the service in the process.

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, the harpist and vocalist took a quirky route to explaining her issues with the company, comparing the service to bananas, which she also hates.

“I’ve walked out of grocery stores because I can tell that there’s a banana over-ripening that’s fallen under the produce bins,” Newsom said in the interview. “It’s been there for a few days — it’s brown and gives off this gas. I can smell it walking in the door.”


“Spotify is the banana of the music industry,” she continues. “It just gives off a fume. You can just smell that something’s wrong with it.”

NMELili Forberg/ NME

“My problem with Spotify is that, obviously the music industry is changing, and I accept that. And the way in which we’ve monetized the creation and consumption of music in the past is also changing. And I accept that too. I don’t love it, but I accept it. But in a way, that phenomenon is sort of a large, zoomed-out way of looking at everything at once. There’s a lot of moving parts. There’s a lot of things that are shifting. It’s cultural. There’s not really a villain,” she continues.

Newsom also argues “Spotify is like a villainous cabal of major labels” and “If it wasn’t such a cynical and musician-hating system, I would be all for it.”

Newsom has revealed a couple of tracks from the new album over the past few months, including ‘Sapokanikan‘ and ‘Leaving the City

‘Divers’ comes out on October 23, on Drag City. You can read NME’s review of ‘Divers’, which describes the work as “a marvellous mix of country, pop and lyrical oddness” here.