Marissa Nadler is not one for the usual stream of Pop. Rather, she uses a strong sense of melancholy to permeate all of her songs. That usually isn’t the way that the general mainstream-driven audience travels, although they respond well to it. And that makes the extraordinary Bella Union/Sacred Bones artist a special one for that.
With a haunting voice, and her penchant for the lush, magically-fused instrumentation that easily reverberates her sense of sadness and loneliness, Marissa Nadler can absolutely be considered a modern master of her craft. With her newest album, Strangers, released in May (2016), Marissa perfects her style, making her newest songs even more a ripping fabric of the soul than her previous efforts. And that’s a talent becoming better because I could not (ever) imagine anything more heart-rending than her beautiful and gorgeous “Drive” from her July album (2014). With a display of eerie pedal steel, and her dream-soundtrack lyrics, “Drive” is a song that will never leave your soul. Never. Then there’s the stunning softness of “Dead City Emily” with its train whistle instrumentation, also from July.
Tripping back to The Sister (2012), where the music is much more spare, the ghost of Nadler’s sadness is clearly evident. That ghost was reshaped in July, and has become even more memorable in Strangers. The lead-off single for Strangers was “All The Colors Of The Dark”, a track that transitions her from July to Strangers quite well.
Strangers has eleven tracks (12 in the bonus edition). All of them are engaging, which makes a trip through the full album a desirable one. The inherently sad Country feel, along with an evident Cocteau Twins hint, creates a new drug to enjoy in those full sittings. Yes, I have favorite tracks. Who doesn’t of any album. But Strangers is captivating in its entirety, every song. The same can be said of July. I recommend both!
I don’t know where Marissa Nadler got her exquisite talent for introspection but it’s a gripping one. It may never let you go.
She is my Laura Nyro in this time!
“…nothing like the way it feels, nothing like the way it feels to drive. Still remember all the words, to every song you ever heard, drive…”