About Marissa Nadler
Marissa Nadler is an American musician and fine artist based in Boston, Massachusetts. Active since 2000, she is currently signed to Sacred Bones Records and Bella Union, and released her seventh full-length studio album, Strangers, in May 2016. As a singer-songwriter, her music defies simple classification. Her work "is rooted in old-school country and folk but brings in elements of experimental and black metal". Sometimes the term "dream folk" has been invoked to describe her work.
Singing in a mezzo-soprano, Nadler has received acclaim for her vocals. Her voice was described by Pitchfork as one "you would follow straight into Hades", and also "textured and angelic, with just a hint of pain captured within her iridescent falsetto".The Boston Globe said, "She has a voice that, in mythological times, could have lured men to their deaths at sea, an intoxicating soprano drenched in gauzy reverb that hits bell-clear heights, lingers, and tapers off like rings of smoke".
Marissa Nadler was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Needham, Massachusetts. Her father was a dentist and her mother was a painter. She was raised Jewish. Her brother is novelist Stuart Nadler. As a teenager, she taught herself to play guitar in a style similar to fingerpicking, playing a steady bass pattern with the thumb and filling out syncopated rhythms with the index finger. It was described as having an "unorthodox, dusky sound". Also while in her teens, she began to write songs as a hobby.
She studied painting at Rhode Island School of Design, where she obtained a bachelor's degree in illustration in 2003, and a master's degree in art education a year later. During her studies, she began to perform at open mic events around Providence. While exploring artistic techniques such as illustration, painting, bookbinding, wood carving and encaustic painting, she also honed her songwriting craft. She subsequently recorded an album titled Autumn Rose as well as the four-track EP Somber Ghost Recordings , neither of which have ever been released. Nadler also contributed to the Pearl Before Swine tribute album For the Dead in Space - Volumes II & III in 2003.
Nadler released her first official album, Ballads of Living and Dying, on Eclipse Records in January 2004. The follow-up The Saga of Mayflower May was released in July 2005. Both records were distributed in the United States by Eclipse, and by the UK label Beautiful Happiness in Europe.
Nadler went on some of her first tours with acts such as the late American primitive guitarist Jack Rose and the drone metal band Earth.
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