The Americana goth songstress guides us through her musical universe of dreamy vocals, murder ballads and eerie folk melodics.
“As a musician, I’m not a born performer, not a born exhibitionist – I just really love to write music,” says Marissa Nadler. From a background in teaching fine arts, the Boston-based songstress made the transition into full-time music in 2004, the year her full-length debut Ballads of Living and Dying hit the shelves. Since then Nadler has only slightly altered her sonic formula, which is firmly rooted in the Americana folk and goth traditions, with a strong emphasis on compelling storytelling. Her unmistakable, ethereal voice against stripped-down guitar backdrops inspired the terms narco-folk and dream-pop, two of many attempts to put a name to her hazy atmospheres and eerie lyricism. Besides releasing albums on labels like Eclipse, Kemado, Box of Cedar and her most recent musical homes, Sacred Bones and Bella Union, Nadler has put out demos and offshoots on her own Kickstarter-backed imprint. In this Fireside Chat, Nadler discusses her artistic evolution, melancholy in music, the division of art and the self and creating a mythology through imagery and sound.