Lost Futures, Marisa Anderson and William Tyler’s first album as a duo, begins with a piercing drone before there’s a sense of calm: the sound of one of their guitars melodically breaking through. “News About Heaven,” a reworking of a cut from Tyler’s 2020 EP New Vanitas, sets the tone for Lost Futures, a meeting of the minds for two of folk music’s preeminent instrumental guitarists. The pair borrowed the title Lost Futures from writer Mark Fisher’s cultural theory that we’re haunted by things that felt inevitable but failed to happen. And, with that in mind, it’s hard not to view the album through the lens of the pandemic. It was that lost future, along with the death of David Berman, that brought Tyler and Anderson together. They first collaborated at a show commemorating the enigmatic musician’s life in early 2020; canceled pandemic-era tours then freed up time to make Lost Futures. The title track has a quiet beauty about it, a seemingly optimistic piece rendered simply with just two acoustic guitars. Though Tyler and Anderson are known as master guitarists, this is not just a guitar record. Both rotate between acoustic and electric guitars (and dobro) and add a multitude of instruments to the mix: Anderson on organ, sitar and ambient noise; Tyler on bass, piano and dulcimer. There’s a sense of drama to the jazzy, jaunty “Pray for Rain,” with added tension from Gisela Rodriguez Fernandez’s viola. The heaviness of the times is represented in the droning thrash of “Something Will Come,” which is driven by Anderson’s hypnotic sitar. The album ends with the “Haunted by Water,” a nine-minute composition that distills nearly all the elements of Lost Futures—meditative, droning, melodic—into one epic track. Amid the chaos of 2020, it would seem, Tyler and Anderson found calming forces in each other.