Published May 18, 2016Over the past 12 years, Marissa Nadler has quietly released a remarkably solid, consistent and terrific string of albums that should place her alongside dark folk peers like Father John Misty, Joanna Newsom and Sharon Van Etten. After wading into the murky waters of electronic and goth for her past few releases, Strangers finds Nadler focusing more on core songwriting elements, using her music's sonic textures more for mood.
Teaming up again with producer and collaborator Randall Dunn (Boris, Sunn O))), Six Organs of Admittance), the Boston musician crafts 11 lush and affecting compositions here, as floating guitar, minor key piano and stirring stings work off of Nadler's sweeping, haunted melodies. Although much of the album takes the same middling pace and tempo, tracks like the light, synth-driven "Katie I Know," the Morricone-esque "Hungry is the Ghost" and the white noise-backdropped "Janie in Love" show Nadler delivering her sighing vocals over interesting and inventive soundscapes.
On Strangers, Nadler seems to have her perfected her craft, adding even more confidence to keep her winning streak alive and well. (Sacred Bones)