Marissa Nadler – “The Sister” VÖ 01.06.2012 (Box Of Cedar / Cargo Records)
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“It’s as if she’s starting a whole new career by creating a refreshingly fragile edge of Americana.” – SPIN’s ” 5 Best New Artists for June”
“songs that are as gorgeous as they are elliptical and intriguing.” – Pitchfork
“Heartbreak is a great muse, but it can wear you down,” says Marissa Nadler, referring to the stormy relationships that haunted many of the heavenly hooks on her last couple records. “For The Sister, I realized I had muses all around me, whether it was childhood, betrayal, friendships, new love, nature, or hope. The narrator’s stronger in my songs now, and more able to bounce back if they choose to.”
While that may be true, the deeply personal characters in Nadler’s eight new songs—a filler-free collection that’s subtly linked to last year’s self-titled LP—are as complex as ever, from the codeine-clouded memories of the rock ‘n’ roll singer in “Constantine” to the downward spiral diatribes of the lost soul in “Christine.” And then there are the introspective turning points where the clouds part, where metaphorical wrecking balls burst through cement-clogged hearts and slivers of light slip through the cracks.
Meanwhile, the singer/guitarist keeps her confessionals as intimate as possible and hits her stride sonically, playing lead on every last song and letting only the slightest distractions—a skittish drum set, a punch-drunk chorus, a muggy mandolin—break the album’s brutally honest spell. Or as Nadler puts it, “I wanted the starkness of every song to reflect the lyrical content. Some of my biggest influences are confessional songwriters. It’s always been a very powerful thing to listen to Elliott Smith and Joni Mitchell, and feel so much from their stories.”
“I have bouts of extreme social anxiety, stage fright, and crippling shyness,” admits Nadler. “I can hardly even order coffee at a coffee shop; I order the easiest thing to say out loud. In my songwriting, though, I feel freer to write what I want every year.
She continues, “That said, I think you are doing something wrong if you don’t have self doubt. Sometimes I throw entire records away because of it. After all, it takes a lot of strength to get this stuff out there.
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