On their collaborative new LP, Marisa Anderson and William Tyler create a new American Gothic for a year upended. Named after Mark Fisher’s cultural theory of the loss of potential futures, dealing with hopes and ideals which once felt inevitable but have since been interrupted, the record was written at the outset of 2020, but the idea of Lost Futures has never waned in its apt encapsulation where we stand. Against a backdrop of disease, environmental collapse, political and social unrest, isolation, and uncertainty, the pair have opened the American guitar traditions to deeper rooted readings.
The title track comes cradled in the comfort of Tyler’s elegiac visions, feeling more wistful for what might have been that reflective of what instead transpired, but once the graceful touch of Marisa’s sorrowful lines begin to creep in, aided by string player Gisela Rodriguez Fernandez’s downpour of dour, and the dissonance of Patricia Vázquez Gómez’s quijada, the record becomes something more than pastoral elegance and slight ennui.
As the record unfolds, the player’s bite into bone, finding an anger on “Something Will Come,” that swirls in the smoke of Western skies and Midwest demonstrations. They tap the sorrow, not merely touched off by solitude, but brewing in the marrow of a nation and at the heart of generations whose potential seems to be stripped from them with each passing day. The record seethes and shrinks, comforts itself and then acts to embrace its own destruction. Lost Futures embraces the bliss we needed, while also growing out of the grief we endure.
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