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Folk/Americana - Released June 18, 2018 | Numero Group

Alternative & Indie - Released September 5, 2018 | Sacred Bones Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released August 7, 2018 | Sacred Bones Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 28, 2018 | Sacred Bones Records

In a period of overabundance of major folk singers, Marissa Nadler undoubtedly stands out. She has for a long time in fact… The songwriter from Washington is no rookie as For My Crimes is already her eighth album. A wonderful record with a gothic feel, in which Joni Mitchell’s worthy heir excels in creating a dreamlike atmosphere. You could see Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval fitting right in here. The album has been co-produced and arranged by Lawrence Rothman (who was involved in Qobuzism The Book of Law!) and allows Nadler to dive deeper into the well-worn theme of love with her fresh, quirky outlook. On For My Crimes, for which she designed the cover art, the American artist collaborated with Angel Olsen, Sharon Van Etten and Kristin Kontrol, as well as Dana Colley (Morphine) on the saxophone, Patty Schemel (Hole, Juliette & the Licks) on drums, Mary Lattimore on the harp and Janel Leppin on the violin. The perfect soundtrack for a slow-paced gothic western! Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released June 26, 2018 | Sacred Bones Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 8, 2016 | Sacred Bones Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released February 23, 2016 | Sacred Bones Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 3, 2016 | Sacred Bones Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released March 23, 2016 | Sacred Bones Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released September 23, 2016 | Sacred Bones Records

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Alternative & Indie - Released May 20, 2016 | Sacred Bones Records

Strangers, Marissa Nadler's seventh album, is another subtle yet significant evolution in her sound. It began in earnest on 2014's July, her debut for Sacred Bones with intuitive producer/engineer Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Earth). The songs on July offered a harrowing first-person chronicle of a failed romantic relationship. They were so poignant and confessional -- even by Nadler's own standards -- they carried the form seemingly as far as it would go. But musically, she and Dunn added sparse string arrangements, languid keyboards, and painterly reverbed electric guitars behind her almost otherworldly voice and acoustic guitar-playing style. On Strangers, they go wider and get deeper. The first-person experiential quality in her writing is de-emphasized in lieu of musical storytelling that delves into the inner lives and circumstances of characters or archetypes (we're never quite sure). They are loosely connected by dislocation and catharsis. The musical backdrop includes more prominently layered strings, edgier, more aggressively placed electric guitars, and a conventional drum kit on about half the tracks. Nadler's voice still seems to come from the realm of spirits rather than the physical attributes of the body. Her trademark monochromatic approach has taken on shades of gray, but it doesn't all happen at once. "Divers of the Dust" is almost pure ether, as her stacked vocal harmonies waft from a tunnel of reverb adorned by an organ. Her acoustic guitar introduces "Katie I Know," but a loop emerges with surf guitar and a languid organ; during a brief bridge Nadler employs Gregorian plainchant, accentuating the poignancy in the narrative. Organ and rhythm loops swirl around her vocal with stinging single-string guitar lines carrying it out. "Hungry Is the Ghost" is slowly, painstakingly rendered in a mix that recalls This Mortal Coil -- though the melody is pure Nadler. Thrumming electric guitars squall in the margins atop tom-toms and kick drum. Textured ambience, tempered by Latin-tinged electric guitars and a pedal steel, intersect her delivery and lyrics. "Janie in Love" is the hinge cut, with a vintage pop melody (think Phil Spector) elevated by harder rock instrumentation, a cello, and keyboards that swell around the lyric describing her subject as a "natural disaster that blows up everything." "Waking" and "Shadow Show Diane" use these elements and more, balancing almost impenetrable darkness with hazy light. The set comes full circle on "Dissolve," a solo acoustic love song delivered in the first person. It's a resonant closer. On Strangers, Nadler's songs and Dunn's expressionistic production gel symbiotically. The nuanced musical and sonic sophistication on display here is an extension of the songwriter's signature sound, which has perhaps become more accessible. That said, these changes mark development, not compromise. ~ Thom Jurek
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Alternative & Indie - Released February 4, 2014 | Sacred Bones Records

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Marissa Nadler in the magazine
  • The Qobuz Minute #1
    The Qobuz Minute #1 The first edition of The Qobuz Minute in English - 5 unmissable releases and as much music news as we can fit into 5 minutes.