On a day when one of the most blatant attacks on women’s bodily autonomy goes into effect in Texas, spending time with an album called Lost Futures feels cryptic. Guitar heroes Marisa Anderson and William Tyler have an uncanny ability to saturate their playing with an impossible range of emotions and difficult ideas. Lost Futures sits in a pocket of communal respect while imbuing the air in the trepidation of the world outside on fire.
When two gargantuan talents like these two get together, it’s easy to wonder whose voice will fill the most space. Instead of even considering the question, though, Anderson and Tyler find a shared vision and give it a voice all its own. “News About Heaven” hovers in anxiousness, waiting for word from the frontlines that there are good days ahead. Encased in glass, unable to move acoustic and electric guitars climb higher in the sky, eyes never leaving the horizon, affixed to a single point. All the air outside hangs there, lingering in a broken moment that seems unending, but inside those fearful moments is a gentle sonic caress, a hand squeezing back to say, “No matter what, we’re still here.”
Lost Futures isn’t entirely filled with contemplative lamentations. The duo unearths ancient rhythmic riffs with the loud, hopeful “Something Will Come.” Repetitive chord progressions ricochet in dark passages, cracking open the roof and walls so light can pour in. The unconventional rhythms continue on “At the Edge of the World” through Patricia Vázquez Gómez’s bouncing quijada scrapes and Gisela Rodriguez Fernandez’s string stabs. Taking a surprising path, there’s a chance something better might exist. There are times when we’re lost in the desert, the mirage is better than nothing. In the dusty footsteps, as the dueling guitars walk on “At the Edge of the World,” the illusion feels real.
The truth lies somewhere between taking care of those closest and using whatever voice we have to protect those with less of one. Magic pills and silver bullets don’t exist, but hard roads stretch out in front of us in every direction. Anderson’s scale-soaring melody that opens the title track is attention-grabbing in the most reserved way. Tyler fills in the empty spaces with equally restrained plucks, the two meeting at the center of it all, their welcoming lullaby gliding toward the handmade remembrances scattered amongst the wreckage of the past 18 months. “Lost Futures” mourns everything lost, but sends it to the stars buoyed by embrace, lit by an inextinguishable fire. We press on, sometimes against better judgment, because the day is alive and the sun has not set.
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