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Anna & Elizabeth: Past and Future Folk

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Tuesday April 03, 2018

From PopMatters

Anna & Elizabeth Bridge Past and Future Folk on ‘The Invisible Comes to Us’
By: Michael Davis

Roberts-Gevalt and LaPrelle share an insatiable hunger to find little wonders of folk music past. They’ve scoured various collections of old-time recordings and historical documents to mine for objects of inspiration. The songs of The Invisible Comes to Us were adapted from treasures they came across at archives like the Blue Ridge Institute at Virginia’s Ferrum College and the Helen Hartness Flanders Collection at Vermont’s Middlebury College.

“These are songs we first heard in small archives in our home states, Virginia and Vermont — recordings made in living rooms and kitchens — songs the singers learned in their childhoods,” they write in the album’s packaging. “The characters and the landscapes they occupied grew rich in our minds. This record grew out of the desire to show you the world we saw in these songs — which led us on our own winding path collecting sounds and sound makers that would help us in our quest.”

Few young folk artists today show such reverence and such overwhelming love for the primary sources. And when Anna & Elizabeth apply effects — the hissing, buzzing and droning — that push the songs out of a comfort zone, they still show incredible respect for the original songs. Noise does not signal distance. If anything, the sonic hums and moans convey an appreciation — they draw increased attention to these long-living words.

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