From Boston (Massachusetts) to an old school Brighton boozer in the shadows of the town's main railway station, Marissa Nadler came to perform on the second of her UK dates. Before taking her tour to the far reaches of Europe and beyond with dates in Turkey, Russia and Scandinavia amongst others, the American songstress took up a brief residence in the upstairs room of The Prince Albert pub in Trafalgar Street.
Marissa, in her little black, backless cocktail dress with a slit up one side to the thigh, looked like a fifties torch singer from some chic film noir. With her hair set in waves pulled around to one side, her delicate disposition and her sophisticated air, it really wouldn't have mattered a jot where the location of Nadler's gig was. Once she started to sing, bathed in a dim blue light, you yourself could have been in a speakeasy wearing your three-piece pinstriped suit and fedora, sipping on your Tom Collins and pulling on your Chesterfield.
To add further to the cosmopolitan flavour of the evening, the support slot was filled by Anglo-French duo Greenness. The locally based Electro-Acoustic couple of Cess Frangi (Struggling to overcome a cold) and Graham Pratt played out a varied, "experimental" set on Korg and guitar. The gentle tenderness of 'Mother' showed no signs of being impaired by any ailment as the French vocalist sang out with an extended range over a sparse but effective soundtrack. Cess joked about her short sightedness and her first attempt at writing a song in English before breaking into the high vocal, stripped-back, acoustic 'Blurry' and penultimately performed last year's single 'Dance With The Light'. The more rhythmic track, apparently accompanied by a video set in Brighton's Queen's Park where the pair are seen cavorting with antlers on their heads ("It's very Brighton", she said), was their best of the night and had a definite Bat For Lashes feel about it.
Continue reading: Marissa Nadler - Prince Albert, Brighton 16.04.2019 Live Review
There's something indescribably fascinating about staring through a window, a voyeurism that fills a need deep down in many people's souls. Marissa Nadler confesses to being something of a home bird, spending much of her time when at home in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighbourhood, using the distance between a pane of glass and the real world as the muse for her quintessentially Gothic folk songs.
Strangers is an odd title for her seventh album since emerging in the early noughties, only because the characters that inhabit it's hazy passages are drawn both from memory but from all around her circle, some references necessarily obtuse, some less so; familiarity it seems, pays the rent.
Becoming more open and experiential in song writing terms has in every respect has been something of a gradual process for Nadler, as rumblings from fans of her earlier neoclassicism about nudging towards the mainstream - following for instance in the footsteps of Sharon Van Etten - lingered faintly around Stranger's predecessor, July. If she was abashed by this aversion to change, the sometime unlikely collaborator with renowned dirge metallists Sunn O )) makes few concessions to it here, continuing the process of topical enrichment spurred on by marriage and getting sober begun some years ago.
Continue reading: Marissa Nadler - Strangers Album Review
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