Marissa Nadler - July (Digisleeve CD)

Marissa Nadler - July (Digisleeve CD)

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Recorded at Seattle's Avast Studio, the album pairs Nadler for the first time with producer Randall Dunn (EARTH, SUNN O))), WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM). Dunn matches Nadler's darkness by creating a multi-coloured sonic palette that infuses new dimensions into her songs. Eyvand Kang's strings, Steve Moore's synths and Phil Wandscher's guitar lines escalate the whole affair to a panoramic level of beautiful, eerie wonder. The results are astonishing and occasionally reminiscent of David Lynch (who is, appropriately enough, among her label mates on Sacred Bones). As Pitchfork once wrote, her songs are "as gorgeous as they are elliptical and intriguing."

Her voice, too, is something to behold here, at once clarion but heavy with the kind of tear-stained emotion you hear on scratchy old country records by the likes of Tammy Wynette and Sammi Smith. Long gone are the days when Nadler summoned images of 1960s folk singers who got lost in the woods. She is a cosmic force on "July," shooting these songs to euphoric highs and heartbreaking lows.

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Track listing

  1. Drive
  2. 1923
  3. Firecrackers
  4. We Are Coming Back
  5. Dead City Emily
  6. Was It a Dream
  7. I've Got Your Name
  8. Desire
  9. Anyone Else
  10. Holiday In
  11. Nothing in My Heart

Review

Her songs have come steeped in misery and macabre, cobwebs and ashes, but Nadler is not a doomy aesthete merely for gloom's sake. She is devoted to Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell, and her music understands folk tradition. While her songs sound isolated and spiritually vintage, as if beamed from the grayscale interior of a Victorian home, her stories have been generous, selfless tales, heavy with metaphor and imagery. Nadler's poetic temperament and steady grace point to a darkness within us all-though her singing always seems to hone on mortality not for the purpose of crushing, existential missives, but in order to protect us. - 4/5