Marissa Nadler - Marissa Nadler
Boston's Marissa Nadler has always seemed to me to be the obvious heir apparent to the sombre and sporadic Hope Sandoval (albeit with a more multi-dimensional vocal style). On June 14th she returns with her self-titled, self-released fourth album, which only serves to reinforce my opinion.
Nadler's trademark has always been her gloomy approach to folk-based music. That hasn't changed this time around as tracks like "In Your Lair, Bear" and "Wedding" meld gauzy atmospheres with rich tapestries of images, woven by the poetic lyrics.
The envelope isn't pushed as much as it's nudged by Nadler. "The Sun Always Reminds Me of You" is possibly the most country-inspired song in her catalogue. Moreover, it culminates in one of her most unrestrained vocals in memory. On "Baby, I Will Leave You In the Morning" it's actually the production, which features the every slightest hint of Dusty Springfield, that adds the refreshing quality.
The influence of other female artists is never too far away. On "Alabaster Queen", one gets the sense there is a subtle nod to Kate Bush. Nadler's chorus vocals on "Little King" are reminiscent of Sarah McLachlan of all people. That is all on top of the Sandoval vibe that permeates the record.
There really isn't anything groundbreaking about the sounds and styles that Nadler employs. What sets her apart is her ability to take those elements and reassembles them into something all her own.
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