For more than 12 years, Marissa Nadler has perfected her own take on the exquisitely sculpted gothic American songform. On her seventh full-length, Strangers, she has shed any self-imposed restrictions her earlier albums adhered to, stepped through a looking glass, and created a truly monumental work.
In the two years since 2014's elegiac, autobiographical July, Nadler has reconciled the heartbreak so often a catalyst for her songwriting. Turning her writing to more universal themes, Nadler dives deep into a surreal, apocalyptic dreamscape. Her lyrics touch upon the loneliness and despair of the characters that inhabit them. These muses are primal, fractured, disillusioned, delicate, and alone. They are the unified voice of this record, the titular "strangers."
On her latest gothic folk missive, singer/songwriter Marissa Nadler opens up her sound slightly, retaining her grey-skies aesthetic while bringing in a more spacious and rock-oriented sound. - Pitchfork4/5