Sunday, September 19, 2021

Marissa Nadler : 'the Path of the Clouds"

Returning more to her dream country sounds, this album drifts away in all the ways you want it to. She was aided by Lightning Bolt producer Seth Manchester who added the distorted guitars that sit back in the atmosphere. You might read some reviews that lead you to believe she is becoming Chelsea Wolfe and this is more of a rock record which is not the case. He supports her tone in a more conventional way to emerge from the ghostly haze her vocals normally sit in , the first time this is noted is on the song "Couldn't have Done the Killing" . Many these song s are true crime ballads more than murder ballads as the killing is not always the point. In fact she sings 'leave your weapons at the door' on this one , so many are more metaphoric. It also should be noted sooner than later than Cocteau Twins bassist Simon  In addition to pianist Jesse Chandler from the Mercury Rev, this creates a more organic band like feel. While many use the word intimate to describe this album, I would say it is more of a group effort in how it feels. This does not take away from the introspective nature of her performance. 

Amber Webber from Black Mountain lends her voice to "Elegy" . It is an even more fragile ballad that the first  four songs. More focused on the cloud like atmosphere. "Well Sometimes You Just Can't Stay" has a thick haze of woozy sonics over it's country gaze  that split the difference somewhere between the Cowboy Junkies and a David Lynch soundtrack. While an amazing sound, she still pouts an effort into the song writing rather than letting the hypnosis do all the work. She doe not always give the songs this kind of back bone as things are allowed to blow in the evening breeze more on the even more relaxed "From Vapor to Stardust".  Not a dark album , but the mood is captured in the reverb thick guitars that counter balance the strummed acoustics. Without this gray sky of the rainy day, it would come across like a country album at times. The twang buried in the effects 

"Turned into Air" is so intangible that the guitar solos Emma Ruth Rundle comes into add does not really ground it. This is why some kind of percussion is important not only on this album but this style of music as there needed to be some kind of back bone to anchor it into the physical plane. "And I Dream of Running" does this and in so doing almost reminds me more of Pink Floyd, "Lemon Queen' is another country song that keeps it's cool by hiding this in atmosphere.  I will give this album a 9.5, the songwriting is where it is at and good to hear her add more sonic colors.  


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