Today, Sarah Louise releases “Jewel of the Blueridge” off her upcoming album Earth Bow. This “single version” is one of the core songs she used to weave her album into two grand suites. While Louise is known for adventurous guitar compositions that break off from numerous genres, Earth Bow presents a world unto itself, seamlessly blending multiple styles into an epic work, dedicated to the majesty of nature. Earth Bow will be released April 30th, 2021 on Louise’s own Earth Bow Records.
About “Jewel of the Blueridge” Sarah Lousie says:
This song arose from my relationship with a particular creek near my house. Using water as a literal subject and as a metaphor for unknown realms, this song features 3-part harmonies, rhythmic bells and deep fried guitar solos.
Sarah Louise lives in rural Appalachia where she forages mushrooms, concocts medicine from plants she gathers, and performs what she calls “Earth Practices” to deepen her relationship with the natural world. Inspired by her lifelong love of nature, she wove her new album, Earth Bow, into an immersive ecosystem. Known for inventive guitar playing, vocal harmonies and electronic explorations, the SP-404SX sampler became key to collaborating with her music as a living system. By blending sonic DNA, what began as eight songs entwined into two interdependent suites.
Produced and recorded by Louise, mesmeric sounds abound on Earth Bow, from analog synth tones, to digitally manipulated sonics that she stretches and layers with a painterly touch. These electronic sounds inhabit the same environment as field recordings, ceremonial percussion, guitars and empathic vocals, weaving together her borderless influences into an enveloping world. “I want this record to take people on a journey through our incredible planet,” she enthuses. “Music and nature can heal.”
Louise’s process began by turning sampled improvisations into hypnotic loops in her DAW. Once songs took initial shape, she began a new phase with her 404. While improvising on this instrument, she found samples from different songs that worked together. These samples – denizens of her electronic forest – move around the record with changing context, revealing new connections with each listen. Placing sounds by feel, rather than grid lines, enhances the organic qualities of this largely electronic record.
“Where the Owl Hums” is the quintessence of Louise’s approach. Made when the album was nearly complete, it became what she describes as, “a synecdoche for the record.” She constructed it entirely of samples from her other songs, save for vocals and brief electric guitar, which she channeled the moment she recorded them. As she puts it, “Sometimes I can feel the energy of a song living inside me and words come out,” an ability she credits to her meditation practice.