"Volume 12 in VDSQ’s impressive acoustic series features a player who beautifully navigates the interval between American Primitive and Folk Baroque, never fully falling into either’s gravity through the pure propulsive nature of her creative playing. There’s invention here without novelty. The playing reminds me at times of Harris Newman’s, exploring the tension between various intervals and letting that dissonance state itself rather than using dissonance as an affectation. This record is the sort that makes me love the sound and possibilities of the acoustic guitar."
"Although Sarah Louise has only one release to her name so far, Vol. 12 quickly places her alongside impressive contributors like Sir Richard Bishop, Glenn Jones, Bill Orcutt and Tashi Dorji. But Louise's music is spiritually and tangibly set apart from her peers', her 12-string compositions culled from birdsong and rivers as well as the sacred drone of Appalachian folk music."
"Allowing listeners to find the calm in such furiously beautiful skill, Sarah Louise’s talent defines modern guitar master-work"
-Tiny Mix Tapes
"Sarah Louise's cassette on Scissor Tail was a late-breaking favorite last year. Her VDSQ LP is even better, as her bell-like 12-string tones and lush melodies combine into a sound that manages to be earthy and cosmic all at once...on several tracks I’m reminded more of Terry Riley’s solo piano work, where the repetition of themes creates a mesmerizing atmosphere that rewards repeat listens."
Louise's rich twelve-string arrangements astound and transfix both liminally and subliminally...As meticulously crafted and nuanced as they are...Louise circumnavigates overbearingness. But she’s also drawing from more than one sonic palate, keeping her feet firmly entrenched in both the Appalachian tradition and more modern, even droning, technique. Sarah Louise has crafted beautiful, spiritual pieces and we’re artistically better off for it.
Her tunes convey the quick motion and driving rhythm of a sprint through the woods. But they are, like those of fellow acoustic picker Glenn Jones, radiant with unfamiliar tones and pregnant with promising but unfamiliar harmonies. Louise shares his penchant for making up tunings and turning them into well-formed, winding songs without words.
Fancy fingerpicked guitar is enjoying a boom cycle: Steve Gunn, Glenn Jones, Daniel Bachman, Chuck Johnson, and William Tyler, to name but a few. North Carolina's Sarah Louise matches the chops of any of these guys, but hasn't yet found the same level of acclaim—a shame, because she's easily one of the best guitarists in the business right now. Her new VDSQ Solo Acoustic Vol. 12, released in May, is a wonderful collection that shows off her ability to balance open space with tightly wound twelve-string flurries. Her compositions are beguiling in their intricacy; each note sparkles as she rolls through every round, warm piece. There are moments, as on "Silent in Snow," where the guitar seems to glow in her hands. Sarah Louise's picking is as meditative as it is masterful, not to be missed on any occasion.
released May 2, 2016
All compositions and performances by Sarah Louise
Released in May 2016 on VDSQ. www.vdsqrecords.com
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