With every performance and recording, Anna Roberts-Gevalt and Elizabeth LaPrelle known simply as Anna & Elizabeth seemingly do the impossible, breathing vital new life into dead and distant history. The duo are alchemists of a sort, traveling to sealed archives to learn the arcane and obscure musics of yore from what I imagine are little bits of and pieces of songs written into the margins of huge dusty tomes. I concede my imagination is likely somewhat off-base, but magic is definitely happening.
On Anna & Elizabeth’s new 7″ single, the two worked with members of the Northeastern avant-pop troupe Cuddle Magic (who also have a new album out) to flesh out two well-known traditional songs, “Hop High” and “Here In The Vineyard,” with a bounty of sounds and ideas. Sometimes that takes the form of metronomic electronic pulses and sometimes respiratory wind instruments. The song itself is treated with the utmost reverence, so no matter how far into modernity the team travels, the emotional and historical core, the magic of the composition, remains intact.
Anna & Elizabeth visited Folkadelphia to perform a number of ballads and folk songs, including “Here In The Vineyard.”