Marissa Nadler has the voice of a siren, a voice that would tempt anyone into following it to ones own peril, having to reveal the beauty of its source. If I can describe her new album, “July” in one word it would be ethereal. And I mean that in regards to the way the songs seem to seamlessly ebb and flow from tracks you feel you would hear in a dream and the next, a nightmare. With the slightest change of tempo and rhythm of the songs, it’s hard to pinpoint which feeling Ms. Nadler was trying to get the listener to evoke, probably a little of both. The allure of her soft acoustic strokes, reverb-laden lyrics, and backup singers, who also play violin and cello, kept me enthralled and captivated through the entire album. The lyrics are reminiscent of American Gothic Poetry and Dark Romanticism. The album is both beautiful and haunting, a tragically beautiful reminder of love gained, lost, and the faded memories of heartache. Though the album isn’t a complete downer, it does seem to have an overall uplifting approach to a heartache that most can relate to. I feel you will come away a bit more empowered over your past demons just as it seems Marissa Nadler has.
I had the chance to catch Marissa Nadler live at Mississippi Studio’s February 17th and her performance of a track titled, “Drive” was particularly captivating. The way Marissa and the back up singers can enthrall and entrance an audience was particularly impressive, as the whole venue seemed to be hanging on her every word. I have never been to a show so quiet in between songs, like a group of kindergarteners during story time, we all wanted to see how this would end, but hoping it never would. She sounded just as amazing in person if not more so, as in the studio. She even shed a tear at the end of one of her songs, the mark of a true artist.
Marissa played along side Pure Bathing Culture that consists of the duo of Sarah Versprille (vocals, keyboards) and Daniel Hindman (guitars, bass, and keys). Though they are technically considered alternative, their sound is reminiscent of something you would hear on 80’s love station, and it’s amazing. A magically relaxed mix of Chillwave and Dream Pop, the band sounds and looks like they got stuck in 1986 and that is not a bad thing. They have so much fun being there they make you want to join in on the fun right along with them. Smooth reverb laced synth-pop, subtle dance beats, and unexpected drones this is a treat for almost anyone with two ears.