Though 27 year-old Marissa Nadler has a background in visual arts at the Rhode Island School of Design, she has since made a career as a musician. It's not surprising to find Nadler crafts music with melodies and lyrics steeped in rich imagery and beautiful textures. With a sound somewhere between the hazy melodies of Mazzy Star and the folk sensibilities of Vashti Bunyan, Nadler pieces together beautiful, dreamy folk music on her fourth solo album, Little Hells. With the help of a trio of talented musicians, Nadler's new release boasts an even richer sound.
Nadler's music may contain less 'freak' folk or experimental elements than much of the music evolving from the folk scene today, but it is no less relevant or intriguing. The synthesizer, organ, and lap steel layer nicely with Nadler's ethereal voice and give her music a sound that is somehow both melancholy and triumphant. Ranging from ghosts, angels, and dead flowers to running away to join the circus, the topics on Little Hells are just as eerily beautiful as the music.