Marissa Nadler 'Strangers' LP
BEAR TREE RECORDS OF THE YEAR 2016 #63
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, released 20th May on Bella Union , she has shed any self-imposed restrictions her earlier albums adhered to, stepped through a looking glass, and created a truly monumental work.
“Janie in Love” is one of her most texturally rich songs to date and one that updates her signature sound with some of the most prominently featured drumming of her career. Her talent for powerfully juxtaposing the ominous and the beautiful is on full display.
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.”
Once again partnered with July producer Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Earth, Black Mountain) Nadler has created an album equal in sonic quality to the apocalyptic lyrical tone that covers its 44 minutes. In places her voice and guitar play off subsonic synths, while elsewhere, a pulsing drumbeat launches the songs off into an intense, confrontational place.
Catalogue number: BELLA531V
Label: Bella Union