It’s not all that difficult to find beauty in life’s more joyful moments, but few artists are capable of doing the same for bleaker times. On her fourth solo album, Marissa Nadler proves she’s well-acquainted with the splendor of sorrow — and finds multiple ways to envelop the listener in those gauzy moods without becoming monochromatic.
“In terms of songwriting, I think I’ve reached my most honest point ever,” says Marissa. “It’s not that I’m being overly confessional, but I feel like the songs on this album are more emotionally bare than anything I’ve done before.”
While unquestionably stark in tone, the songs on Little Hells are also more sonically expansive than anything the Boston-based singer-songwriter-guitarist has done in the past. Building on her dream-folk foundations, Nadler ventures into territory as varied as the Brill Building-tinged pulse of “Mary Come Alive” and the title track’s old-time country loam — a trek that’s both breathtakingly scenic and psychically compelling.
Recorded in Stamford, Connecticut, Little Hells features musicians Myles Baer (aka Black Hole Infinity), Farmer Dave Scher (Rilo Kiley, Beachwood Sparks) and Simone Pace (Blonde Redhead), and Blonde Redhead producer Chris Coady was at the helm.