Marisa Anderson / William Tyler

Lost Futures

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Lost Futures Review

by Timothy Monger

Lost Futures marks the first collaboration between Marisa Anderson and William Tyler, two innovative, yet understated guitarists whose combined résumés cover a wide swath of genres from experimental drone music to jazz, country, and indie rock. On paper, it's one of those unions that is surprising only in that it hasn't already happened before now. The two are kindred spirits, masters of their chosen instrument, and tend to run in similar creative circles. Among Anderson's recent work is a nimble, mostly improvised set with Australian drum maverick Jim White, while Tyler made his first foray into film music, scoring the pastoral feature First Cow. Together, they bring different tonal sensibilities into a common headspace that is appealingly textural and sometimes quite beautiful. Opener "News About Heaven" is a windswept exploration of Western enchantment that languidly ambles across the speakers. The title track, a lovely acoustic duet of almost Hawaiian slack-key sweetness, could have simply been repeated seven more times in different iterations to make a great record. Instead, Anderson and Tyler expound on a deeper variety of moods like the Spanish-inspired "Pray for Rain" and the sparse, somber "Hurricane Light." The relentless "Something Will Come" is a challenging and muscular track consisting entirely of a heavily layered two-note drone that shifts ever-so-slightly during its six-minute expanse. Of the two musicians, Anderson has more of a reputation for risk and her influence here has the effect of drawing out some of Tyler's weirder tendencies. Tyler, for his part, is the consummate melodicist and the duo's disciplines collide here in interesting ways, especially on "Haunted by Water," the album's multi-part eight-minute closer. A mix of electric and acoustic sounds are scattered throughout, and a scattering of complementary drums, violins, and other assorted accompaniment make for something more eclectic than what could have easily coasted as a simple set of acoustic duets. There's a lot of subtlety here and it might take a number of listens to fully appreciate Lost Futures' peculiar spread of dynamics. But, like any grower, its slow revelation is part of its charm.

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