The eighth LP from Marissa Nadler arrives courtesy of Sacred Bones. While this record may feature contributions from Angel Olsen, Mary Lattimore, Kristin Kontrol and Sharon Van Etten, their parts only ever act as augmentations to Nadler’s beguiling songs. The eleven tracks of For My Crimes cover ground between Murder Ballads-y gallows-song (the title track) to a sort of heartland-grunge hybrid (‘Blue Vapor’).
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I wonder what Marissa Nadler has done in order for her to spout out these murder ballads. She hasn't actually gone and murdered someone has she? Or has she simply unfriended Phil from Facebook and is feeling pretty bad about it.
You'll find it hard to hear a sadder album all year. Nadler is very obvious about her troubles. There's no clever word play here - it's all heart on sleeve confessionals delivered with a breathy devastated voice. There's no teasers - the choruses of 'I Can't Listen to Gene Clark Anymore' and 'Are You Really Going to Move to the South?' and 'Lover Release Me' are just those titles yearned on repeat. There may be no surprises but if you are brokenhearted then this will soothe those late night hours. 'Neath Nadler's voice are beautifully restrained productions using simple acoustic guitar cellos and gentle atmospheres. Hardly any drums or anything that will hurt your ears.
Because it's all about Nadler's voice - one part Hope Sandoval, one part water rushing from a mountain spring. The album has a lovely Lynchian Americana feel to it and the only thing I'm lacking is any element of surprise but perhaps surprise is the last thing you need on such an emotional album. She's in a terrible state about something but has turned it into some rather bewitching music.
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