An odd pairing on paper, but the dreamy indie-folk falsetto of Marissa Nadler and the post-hardcore guitar landscaping of Stephen Brodsky (of Mutoid Man and Cave In among others) makes for one of 2019’s most intriguing collaboration albums. Striking contrasts of light and darkness make for a cinematic experience that’s both beautiful and unsettling.
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Droneflower is a collaboration between Marissa Nadler, a Boston-based singer-songwriter, and Stephen Brodsky, a rock musician in bands such as Cave In and Mutoid Man. They have released their self-titled debut album.
This Droneflower record is an odd one. It’s almost like deconstructed heavy metal. All the hallmarks are there like the heaviness, the growling guitars, and the menace, but its stripped back and the elements are rearranged. It’s kind of ambient metal but...not... There’s even a Guns ‘n’ Roses cover on here, of their 1994 power ballad ‘Estranged’. Droneflower make it sound genuinely beautiful. There’s also lots of gorgeous, clean finger-picked guitar on here. Tracks like ‘Shades Apart’ are a little Wicker Man-esque, even. I suppose ‘Droneflower’ is an apt name. It recalls the sound of this album, the heavy and lingering contrasted with the soft naturalness of Marissa Nadler’s voice. It’s nice to hear musicians playing music they wouldn’t in their day-to-day life. For Nadler, it is heavier, and for Brodsky, softer.
'Droneflower' is a beguiling album made by a beguiling band, and I look forward to seeing what they do next.
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- Droneflower by Marissa Nadler & Stephen Brodsky
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