Sarah Louise :: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview

On Deeper Woods, Sarah Louise wanders deep into the woods seeking a sense of awe. Over the course of the album's seven songs, which blend Appalachian folk melodies with droning ragas, she finds it over and over again. "There, I sat in wonder," she sings on opener "Bowman's Root," over her fluttering 12-string guitar and pulsing percussion. "There, I sat listening."

Best known for her stellar solo guitar work, the new lp unites various strands which have long fascinated the North Carolinian songwriter, from a cappela singing to looped minimalism. Louise's guitar playing rests at the center of her ambitious arrangements, but it's adorned with touches of flute, echoing distortion, synthesizer, electric piano, flute, and steadily thumping drums. At times, it feels something like Robbie Basho in a session with Pentangle, but chiefly, it establishes Louise's own personal voice. She produced the record herself, and while it features tasteful contributions by drummer Thom Ngyuen and bassist Jason Meagher, it always feels like an intimate, revelatory statement. Singing of metamorphosis, the solace of nature, and inner and outer wildernesses, Louise ventures into spaces where anything can happen. Spooky and arcane, it's a magical sounding record, a transformative piece of art. Go looking for wonder in these songs, and you'll find it in abundance.

Deeper Woods by Sarah Louise

Deeper Woods is out May 11 via Thrill Jockey Records.

Aquarium Drunkard: Deeper Woods is centered around the language of the woods, evoking both creatures (“Pipevine Swallowtails”) and plant life (“Bowman’s Root” and “Fire Pink And Milkweed”). Have you always been an avid outdoors person?

Sarah Louise: I have always felt a connection to nature and am grateful that my parents nurtured that impulse in me. It’s one of the threads that runs through my entire life and has led me towards a lot of interesting things.

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