Like a raging wind tearing across the rustic countryside, the strings that adorn the best parts of Lisa Michelle Anderson’s “Joy Callin’” are powerful enough to leave a path of sheer emotive destruction in their wake, but thanks to the sublime production value of this latest single from the acclaimed singer/songwriter, they’re as palatable as the melodies they so decadently emit.
We’re instantly washed away by the tidal wave of textured instrumental expression, and though it’s only seconds before we come in contact with Lisa Michelle Anderson’s vocal for the first time in this song, an unmistakable mood has already been set. “Joy Callin’” marches out of the ethers on the whim of a seductive harmony that is equal parts American in spirit, and it doesn’t require much more than a cursory listen to understand why its composer has been attracting the amount of hype that she has been this year.
Lisa Michelle Anderson hauntingly croons in the opening line of the song, her words sparkling with an effervescent tone that contrasts somewhat severely with the angst-ridden groove supporting her in the strings. Her vocal is sobering but rife with an emotionality that transcends the lyrics it sings ever so softly to us. It’s as if we’re riding through a dark forest, unaware of whatever danger might befall us around the next stretch of trees, but Lisa Michelle Anderson is there to light the road before us with her sensational serenade, which is a glimmer of hope in this otherwise grim sonic environment.
In every instance here, Lisa Michelle Anderson transitions into her chorus seamlessly and allows for the instrumental hook to erupt like a long-dormant volcano finally afforded its divine moment of catharsis. The strings soar into the sky above, as does the verse, and around the midway mark in the track, we float in a cerebral holding pattern that feels like it will last for an eternity, only to be dragged asunder once more for the fiercest unspoken breakdown in the song. With that, we soon reach the conclusion of “Joy Callin’” in a hurricane of instrumental harmonies that disappear from the atmosphere as quickly as they first appeared to us.
Whether you’ve been following her journey since the beginning or are just now finding out about Lisa Michelle Anderson’s incredible sound, “Joy Callin’” is a worthwhile acquisition for the indie folk enthusiast that enjoys alternative Americana as much as they do experimental songwriting. There’s a lot to sort through in this single, but it’s sleekly appointed with a superb master mix that makes even its most intricate of details quite accessible to both the novice listener and serious music buff alike.
Lisa Michelle Anderson has improved upon the blueprint set forth by some of the biggest giants in the game to come before her, in more ways than one in “Joy Callin’,” and I’m excited to hear what she does in and out of the studio next. She’s getting better with time, and it wouldn’t appear that she’s going to be slowing down anytime soon.