The duo of Virginian singer Elizabeth LaPrelle and Brooklyn-based multi-instrumentalist Anna Roberts-Gevalt recently released The Invisible Comes to Us, their second LP on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings - a spellbinding reconfiguration of ancient folk ballads that sees the duo’s immersion in Appalachian music move to a place of boundless experimentation.
Anna & Elizabeth⤬
Anna & Elizabeth hold firm to the roots of American folk song, while removing the limits of how that music can be played and presented.
Guest players Jim White (Dirty Three/Xylouris White) and experimental pedal steel player Susan Alcorn helped create the sonic world that Anna and Elizabeth visualised for these songs: a world that also brought in brass, woodwinds and synths to craft an immersive, novelistic and groundbreaking exploration of old and nearly-forgotten songs with a unique palette of influences including Laurie Anderson, the poetry readings of Patti Smith, chopped storytelling inspired by NPR’s Radiolab, Irish folk heroes Paul Brady and Andy Irvine, Dublin group Lankum and the conceptual work of Meredith Monk and Fluxus movement composers.
"an audacious step forward ... subtly pushing at what folk music sounds like and what it can do" - Pitchfork
Live, Anna & Elizabeth seek to honestly channel the often cryptic and complex narratives of the songs they have collected. Resisting cosy 'show and tell' didacticism, they instead draw the audience into an impressionistic continuum of song, drone, sound collage and improvisation, often using hand-woven 'crankies' to visually illustrate these rich, foreboding and eternal tales. The pair have moved towards AV installation work as a means to further develop this lateral approach to performance, most recently crafting a multimedia piece exploring the legacy and music of Salem ballad singer Texas Gladden for Cube Fest in Blacksburg, VA.