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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

An interview with Marissa Nadler and review of new album July

The prolific and talented Marissa Nadler returns with her 6th album of the decade, now signed to the fabulous Bella Union in the UK.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Marissa Nadler by Daniel Jamie Williams

Marissa Nadler by Daniel Jamie Williams.

Gothic folk singer Marissa Nadler returns with her sixth album, released this month on the Bella Union label in the UK. The undoubted centre piece of July is the stunning Dead City Emily, an atmospheric ode to dead-end love. Her silky vocals weave deceptively depressing tales of longed for other lives, elegiac odes that cross the boundaries of folk and shoe gaze such as the beautiful Was it a Dream, the video for which was released this week. ‘The song explores the blurry lines between reality and fantasy, something which is captured perfectly in the video as an elderly man gets lost within old archival footage.‘ I caught up with the talented Boston based singer…

Last time I encountered you was with your fifth self financed and self released album. What has happened since then?
I wouldn’t call it rediscovery, as I’ve not really gone away at all. I just think with these new labels, there’s a bit more help in getting the music that I’ve been making for a long time out there. In terms of the self release vs. labels, I was really happy and grateful for such amazing support during the 2011 kickstarter/ self-release on box of cedar. I just got a bit burnt out and was spending my time doing this wrong things for my soul. I’m at my best being creative, not sitting behind a computer. So, I made the conscious decision to put all of my thoughts about my experiences with record labels behind me and try again. I have to say I’m very very glad I did.

Marissa Nadler 1

Marissa Nadler by Isabelle Mattern

Marissa Nadler by Isabelle Mattern.

You are incredibly prolific, onto your sixth album in a decade, where does the drive to create music come from and how do you manage it?
I honestly wish I were more prolific. Maybe it’s my upbringing, but I do feel pretty guilty when I’m not making something. Writing songs is always fun and exciting for me. I get a lot of pleasure out of coming up with melodies, and putting my thoughts to words. There’s really nothing more to it.

Marissa Nadler by Natalie Burton

Marissa Nadler by Natalie Burton.

You meld musical influences with startling success, where do you find these multiple influences and how do you marry them together in the process of creation?
I just listen to what I like. I think as humans, we are all porous and open to influence. I think what comes out is the palette at the end of a painting.

Marissa Nadler 2

How closely do the lyrics reflect your real life, and what episodes most inspire their being?
These songs are extremely real, and the episodes are all in the songs! I think listening to the lyrics, people will make up their own minds about what the songs are about and that’s ok with me. Music reaches people in different ways.

Marissa Nadler by Lucy Eves

Marissa Nadler by Lucy Eves.

What other artworks or ventures are you currently engaged in?
I’m teaching fine art part time, working on paintings and drawings, writing new songs.. Work ethic through one’s successes and failures is important. I try to just keep on keeping on.

Marissa Nadler 3

Where can we Brits hear you in 2014?
I’m really excited to play 4 dates in the UK in April! (you can see those on the Bella Union site). I’m also most likely playing a summer festival or two!

Marissa-Nadler-July-album cover

July was released on 10th February 2014 through Bella Union in the UK. You can read my previous interview with Marissa Nadler here.


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