Marissa Nadler

Marissa Nadler ( born April 5, 1981 in Washington, DC) is an American singer, guitarist and painter. She grew up in Needham, Massachusetts, and lives today, after a long stay in Providence, Rhode Iceland, in Boston.

Family and art studies

Even at home came Nadler with different arts in contact, her mother Pamela Joyce is an abstract painter, her older brother guitarist and now a writer. In her family, the roots of Nadler's interest can be seen in the supernatural motives, as even her mother was interested in early for occultism. Nadler later studied at the Rhode Iceland School of Design in Providence Painting, Illustration and Art Education. Her role models in the visual area included in this period artists such as Adolf Wölfli, Egon Schiele and Paul Klee, the assemblages artist Joseph Cornell and the photographer Diane Arbus. A short time she worked as an art teacher in Harlem, New York. During her studies she developed her own style of painting folk, about the same time she turned more to the music that influenced her appeared less academic.

Musical style and artistic self-

Marissa Nadler learned with fourteen years of vocal and guitar by autodidactic study. An early album called Autumn Rose and a further EP were initially not published until 2004 they released their first CD Ballads of Living and Dying. Nadler's music is in the classic American singer- songwriter tradition and is characterized by a melancholy mood. In addition to their characteristic mezzo- soprano (Compare with Hope Sandoval, Sandy Denny, Vashti Bunyan, Kate Bush and others can be drawn ) is for their music especially the acoustic guitar in the style of John Fahey ( fingerpicking ) prevalent but also banjo and ukulele. Accompanying instruments are occasionally electric guitar, organ, accordion, dobro, keyboards and theremin to hear on percussion is usually omitted. The texts that are rarely written in the first person singular, often treat morbid themes deal with mourning and desolation. This Nadler creates an art world in which supernatural themes (eg the motif revenant ) are just as important as only vaguely suggested settings from earlier eras. Many of the songs have a ballad structure, some of the fictional characters return leitmotif in their songs again, such as the character Mayflower May, which can be interpreted as an alter ego of the artist. In the texts themselves also shows Nadler's close relationship to the literature. Some songs thematize events of literary history, so act two songs from the death of the two authors Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath, who are mentioned in the song lyrics just by their first name and nearly unnoticed fit into Nadler's figure world. Likewise poems were set to music, so Hai Tantos Muertos by Pablo Neruda and the ballad Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe. The choice of this poem also highlights the close of their own lyrics to the literature of American Gothic.

Is categorized Nadler's music like as a new variant of the Appalachian folk or Americana style, a certain proximity to the New Weird America movement is discernible. Their formative influences she counts next to Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, Tom Waits, Patti Smith and Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen, whose Famous Blue Raincoat they reinterpreted on their last album; at the beginning of their career some interpret Nadler Cohen classic. Other cover versions are Springsteen's I'm on Fire, an atmospherically heavily modified version of Julia Ward Howe's Glory Glory Hallelujah and to Ballad of Amber Lady of Pearls Before Swine. Not only the origin of the latter original illustrate their proximity to the ballads and folk tradition, but also the reference back to song material generally handed down.

Her publications, in part, produced by Greg Weeks ( Espers ), first appeared on Eclipse Records, now she is also working with the label Beautiful Happiness, My Kung Fu, Peacefrog Records, Kemado Records together. Under tours widely, among others, along with José González, Jana Hunter and Mi and L' au. They occasionally occurs without any backing.



  • Ballads of Living and Dying (2004)
  • The Saga of Mayflower May ( 2005)
  • Songs III: Bird on the Water ( 2007)
  • Little Hell (2009)
  • Marissa Nadler (2011)
  • The Sister (2012 )
  • July (2014)

EPs and demos

  • Four Track Recordings, Outtakes (2005)
  • Diamond Heart / Leather Made Shoes ( 2006)
  • Diamond Heart (2007)

Samplers (selection)

  • Ballad to to Amber Lady on For the Dead in Space II: A Tribute to Tom Rapp ( 2003)
  • Judgement Day on Not Alone (2006)

With Xasthur

  • Portal of Sorrow (2010)