Marisa Anderson - Into The Light
On her newest release, ‘Into the Light’ Marisa Anderson leaves Appalachia and the Delta blues behind as she journeys west, into the heart of the sun. Written as the soundtrack to an imaginary science-fiction western film, the record’s ten songs trace the story of a visitor lost and wandering on the shifting borderlands of the Sonoran desert. ‘Into the Light’ is shimmering and cinematic, the pieces built around pedal steel, lap steel and electric piano as well as Anderson’s signature guitar sound. With her fourth full-length, solo electric guitarist Marisa Anderson breaks with her previous recordings — this time out, she’s not solo. Nor is she with a backing band. She multi-tracks her guitar, usually two layers, maybe more in a few places. It’s enough of a change that it significantly departs from her prior American primitive explorations. Anderson’s amplified tone was already on the outskirts of the approach, purring hot, but never quite fuzzing out. Her compositions have stuck to primitive principal, however. She’s meshed folk, bluegrass and blues ideas together to create something closer to self-portrait than tradition, with hands-on scholarship digging for old songs and adapting them to her own roughed up style. Her experiments are in mood more than technique, wandering through familiar patterns to create an unfamiliar whole. She has a knack for resolving fretboard tangle and tinges of noise with melodies that are as direct as a Stephen Foster standard.