For My Crimes
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Marissa Nadler is the rare kind of musician who consistently delivers thoughtful, personal music. A critically-acclaimed artist for over ten years, her eighth studio album For My Crimes shines as another example of her preternatural talent and style. Written in response to the emotional strain of being a touring musician, For My Crimes feels therapeutic and apologetic. The mythic quality of her voice transports the listener, fully enveloping you in Nadler’s world.
Nadler’s backing band on For My Crimes is a who’s who of impressive female musicians, including Mary Lattimore, Kristin Kontrol and Sharon Van Etten. The effect is feminine and intimate, ambient and other-worldly, but somehow still grounded. Nadler’s self-taught finger-picked guitar style lends an earthy tenor to her work. Her lilting mezzo-soprano is as soothing as it is arresting.
The opening and title track “For My Crimes” is a desperate requiem, with Nadler’s trademark methodical guitar work and spooky backup vocals from Angel Olsen. It’s a perfect primer in Nadler’s “slow music” style. A knack for storytelling and a languid tempo define her music, but somehow this formula becomes dynamic in her hands. She hovers between rock and folk and country, dancing just outside of any genre.
The charging guitars and lush strings of “Blue Vapor” are a jolt of energy, the latter half of the track featuring the forceful drumming of Hole’s Patty Schemel. “Lover Release Me” expresses the loneliness of touring, exploring a deteriorating relationship. “I Can’t Listen To Gene Clark Anymore” is a sprawling country epic, mourning the loss of beloved music poisoned by heartbreak.
The songs on For My Crimes reflect a person being confronted with the truth and grieving the mistakes made along the way. The final track “Said Goodbye to That Car” is a perfect ending, a blown car engine marking the end of an era. The eerie beauty in her chant of “119657 and the engine blew,” creates an incandescent moment, a lovely note to end on. It’s her benediction, a true-to-form way to close another breathtaking chapter.
Notable Tracks: “Blue Vapor” | “For My Crimes” | “Interlocking”