KEXP : Where the Music Matters
Irene_Rible on 11/13/2009 at 02:42PM
In anticipation of Marissa Nadler's upcoming New York show, I was reminiscing this morning about the first time I heard her in 2004 when her album Ballads of Living and Dying appeared in the bins at my local record store. Back when I was still in denial of my inner goth, I was a little wary of purchasing this record due to it’s uber-goth black and white cover. At first glance we are greeted by a mysterious woman, eyes downcast in sorrowful contemplation, draped in a long black dress, feathery raven hair curling around alabaster neckline, walking along a desolate country trail surrounded only by the stark branches of winter trees. Instead of stooping to such insensitive clichés such as naming the two record sides “A” and “B”, Nadler gave us the “Moon” side and the “Sea” side. The photoshopped inclusion on the back cover of an enlarged, out-of-proportion dead bird was particularly suspicious.
I’ll admit, I was instantly hooked. Picking up this album on a whim, I was delighted to find that Nadler's music was everything I hoped it would be - fusing the poetic balladry of Leonard Cohen, the narcotic lullabies of Hope Sandoval, and the old world nostalgia of Shirley Collins to create haunting, ethereal songs that hark back to a time and place long ago, but with just enough psychedelic flourishes to bring us into the present. I still find myself yearning for Marissa to liberate me from my practical, yet painfully tacky, Adidas ski parka and initiate me into that far off land of Edwardian riding jackets. So spellbound by Nadler's hypnotic ballads, sometimes I even consider the benefits of rechristening myself to a name more appropriate for a Nadler song, Violet Bramble being my preferred alias.
Since her first release Nadler continues to make her singular brand of psych-folk. Nadler is currently touring and will be playing in the New York area tonight at Le Poisson Rouge. "Rosary" is a track from her latest album Little Hells that she performed live for KEXP.