Guest Lists: Marissa Nadler’s 5 musical highlights of 2015

This time last year, Boston based singer songwriter Marissa Nadler figured prominently in our end of year round-up with her stunning album ‘July’ (reviewed here). This collection of beautiful, ethereal folk songs was one of the best albums of 2014 and marked a big leap forward for her as a songwriter and musician. She has just finished recording the follow up to July, with the new record pencilled for release in 2016. We are delighted she took the time out to share some of the albums and songs that made an impact on her during the last 12 months.

 

1. Open Your Eyes – School of Seven Bells

I was recently driving home from NYC. I listen to satellite radio a lot on tour because of Willie’s Roadhouse. But, during this drive I was listening to XMU and heard the new School Of Seven Bells song ‘open your eyes’ and then played it over and over and over again.  It quickly became my favorite song of 2015. Benjamin Curtis tragically passed away two years ago from cancer.  I read up on the soon to be released album to see that these songs were almost done at that point.
There’s a beautiful, triumphant message in this song and it really emotionally resonated with me. I couldn’t help but think of how the lyrics, when knowing the personal story of the band, made the song even more poignant.  The melodies are beautiful and the song is just perfect.  I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album.

 

2.  On Your Own Love Again – Jessica Pratt

Jessica Pratt’s ‘On Your Own Love Again’ really struck a chord with me. I don’t really know what to say other than to recommend people to listen to her music. Jessica is a damn fine guitar player and there are so many subtle and intricate layers within her music. As someone who also makes music that involves vocal layers and harmonies, I really connect to her music and find her cosmic weavings inspiring.

 

3.  No Shade In The Shadow Of The Cross – Sufjan Stevens (from the gorgeous Carrie & Lowell)

What I like best about this album is the gritty emotional honestly of the lyrics.  There is no pretentiousness here. These are pure songs, and delivered with passion, the words floating on clouds of gorgeous melody. I’m so glad people like Sufjan are making music like this, right now, in this fucked up world today.

 

4.  Solo – Nils Frahm

This year, I recorded a new album. So, I often veer towards instrumental music. This record is so completely gorgeous and soothing. I really love ‘Circling’.

 

5. Have You in My Wilderness – Julia Holter

This is such an elegant and fully realized album. Fav. song is probably ‘How Long’.