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Mariee, Queen of Grace

With "Grief in Exile", the American Mariee Sioux remembers the fans of celestial folk music...

By Marc Zisman | Video of the Day | June 17, 2019

In the early 2000s, folk fans had barely recovered from Alela Diane’s rise to prominence that another oddity emerged from the very same small Californian town, Nevada City.

With Faces in the Rocks, her third album released in 2007, Mariee Sioux propelled her angelic folk onto an international stage.

She too was a kind of acoustic elf, and sang as if she were driven by the elements, an ambassador of nature. Less charismatic and pompous than Alela’s Pirate's Gospel − for which Mariee performed vocal harmonies −, her Faces In The Rocks was undoubtedly more dreamy, and more rebellious too.

Like a hippie Hope Sandoval, Mariee Sioux has gently pulled on our ear lobes to take us where she wanted to go. And we followed. Her musical landscapes are closer in depth to Nick Drake than Joan Baez, to whom she has been foolishly compared.

Her mightily pure vocals have elevated her to the rank of legendary priestess of the folk scene, who sparingly releases her mystical, hallucinatory albums, inhabited by the ancestral heritage of her Native American roots.

A status confirmed by Grief in Exile, her first proper studio album in a long time. Nothing has changed, and her hypnotic power is apparent straight away. As is the duality between ambient musical serenity and painful themes (depression, suicide, addiction) that she explores head on. A true gem.


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