Marissa Nadler (photo:
Marissa Nadler (photo:


How much more black can Marissa Nadler’s new album, “July,” be?

It’s “Nadler’s blackest-ever black album,” NPR reports.

“This is true that they said that!” emails Nadler, whose current single is “Dead City Emily.” “You know, I don’t really think of myself as dark, or of the record as exclusively dark, but I guess that’s all very subjective, like all art.

“I’d like to think my music, as well as this record, ranges the spectrum of many different human emotions. I think just by the sheer nature of my choice of my collaborators, those comparisons will be made.

“Also, I’ve never shied away from imagery and emotions that are intense. Nevertheless, I’d rather be called dark than be labeled as coffee shop folk any day of the week . . . so let’s call it a win and move on!”

The Boston-based Nadler’s winning albums include “Ballads of Living and Dying,” her ‘04 debut, and the less imaginatively titled “Marissa Nadler,” which Pitchfork, rating it 8.1, deemed “a stellar collection of sullen melodies and lovelorn anecdotes akin to those of Joni Mitchell.”

As it happens, “July” was recorded in a dark city, Seattle, at Greenwood’s storied Avast Studio(s). (Nadler performs Saturday, Feb 15, in Seattle at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center, 4272 Fremont Ave. N. For tickets go to Brown Paper Tickets here. Shana Cleveland of LaLuz opens.)

Behind the board was producer Randall Dunn (Earth).

“Randall and I met many years ago,” Nadler writes. “So, when I was setting out to make this new record, I got an email from Randall saying he wanted to work with me. I love his work and I have to admit I was pretty excited.

“I’ve always loved Seattle, and have a couple friends there. It gave me the opportunity to enlist some musician friends I’ve made over the decade plus of touring, including Phil Wandscher (of Jesse Sykes and the Sweet Hereafter) as well as Jonas Haskins (my longtime bass player). I also got to work with Eyvind Kang, Jay Kardong, and Steve Moore.”

“I’d say it was a great experience. Avast is a lovely studio and I can’t wait to go back and record some more stuff!”

Visit Nadler’s official website here

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Mikel Toombs is a frequent contributor to Read his recent review of Reagan Boggs’ new CD here.)

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