The bohemian freak-folk scene alumnus achieves a career best on album number eight
When Marissa Nadler emerged a decade ago, it seemed apparent that the bohemian freak-folk underground she toiled in was not her natural environment. At once austere and ornate, her ice-cold soprano voice and minor chords conveyed gothic dread, and the feeling that a wider audience was hers for the taking. While the Boston resident’s commercial breakthrough still awaits, Nadler’s captivating qualities circa 2004 hold true on ‘July’, her sixth album. Over slow-to-mid-paced folk rock shrouded in reverb, Nadler sings of emotional distance and despondent car journeys: a delicate balance between matters personal and universal. Guest musicians, including avant-violin champ Eyvind Kang and synth dramatist Steve Moore, lead Nadler’s muse down unexplored avenues; ‘July’ is a career high.