CD £5.99 BELLACD432
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LP £15.49 BELLAV432
LP + CD on Bella Union.
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Its always amusing to watch Phil all a quiver at even the mention of Marissa Nadler’s name. Get her swooping voice coming out of the stereogram and he’s a puddle on the floor. I’m not sure what he thinks about this her 6th album (he usually has something to declare on the subject) but it sounds at first rather like business as usual but the more you delve, the more you will get back from this fine LP .
Its quite refined this time with generally just the pluck of a lonesome acoustic guitar accompanying her soaring vocals. Opener ‘Drive’ is really not unlike Mazzy Star. Nadler’s voice has all the smoky, sultry husk of Hope Sandoval. The understated delivery continues ‘1923’ which has some violins swooping about and its all rather unbearably sad. ‘Firecracker’s’ is the track which stuck out like a sausage in a jelly last time I played the album through. Its a beautiful track, one of those that you can’t believe wasn’t written about a hundred years ago. It has a 1950’s Lynchian feel to it, and sounds a little like Low’s contribution to that ‘Take Me Home’ John Denver tribute of some years ago.
Produced by Randall Dunn (Earth/Sunn O), the record seems to have been recorded in a low fog, Nadler emerging slowly out of the haze, the songs are desperately subtle yet on repeated plays reveal more and more. Playing this in the office yesterday it drifted by in a sea of muted pleasantness yet now I have it home, to the heart of the melancholy, the songs are really cutting through and revealing what a really special artist Nadler is. For the uninititiated you could easily compare her to Joni Mitchell, Gillian Welch, Neko Case, the aforementioned Hope Sandoval but really, Nadler is in a place of her own and there is a lot more going on here than folksy singer songwriter stuff.
Unafraid to experiment, she occupies her own place, gently mutating a sound which is strangely ancient sounding like evocative road songs of yore shot through with a kind of New American Wierd soundscape.
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