Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Music Review: Marissa Nadler - Little Hells (***1/2)




"In 1971, Leonard Cohen released an album entitled Songs of Love and Hate. In 1981, Daniel Johnston released a cassette called Songs of Pain. As I listen through the catalogue of gothic folk songstress Marissa Nadler I get the feeling that if only she’d been around during those years, she would have probably utilized one of those titles first (though she eventually settled on the equally evocative Ballads of Living and Dying for her debut album, in 2004). Over the last 5 years or so, her songs have certainly encapsulated all those winding emotions on a pretty consistent basis, and on 2007's mesmerizing breakthrough, Songs III: Bird on the Water, Nadler even covered Cohen’s classic “Famous Blue Raincoat.” She follows in a long line of acoustic guitar toting singer-songwriters, and as far-to-few folk artists do in order to avoid stagnation, Nadler’s reach has extended past folk traditions and into realms altogether more sinister and satisfying. On her newest and best album, Little Hells, Nadler has stayed true to her roots, while expanding her sonic palette to encapsulate the outlying corners of dream-pop." [Continue Reading]

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