Singer-songwriter Marissa Nadler sounds lost in her own unconscious in her latest release For My Crimes. This musical project seems like a process of introspection–she softly sings about her thoughts and feelings, transforming them into lyrical art. Marissa Nadler effortlessly draws in her emotional disposition with prominent vocals and subtle instrumentals like Gustav Klimt would have painted sensual art with a glimmer of sheer creativity.
The first track “For My Crimes” introduces the album perfectly–Nadler’s gentle vocals invite the listener to pause time and connect emotionally with her. With Angel Olsen as a feature on this song, it is no surprise it sends chills down the spine. Following with a similar gentle hymn, “I Can’t Listen to Gene Clark Anymore” complements the album with a melody that seems to linger like an endless tune. Words flutter and flow as harmonies intertwine like hands that long to hold one another. The song speaks of longing and innocent desire while Nadler’s vulnerability and sense of nostalgic despair paint the song.
“Are You Really Gonna Move to The South” mimics the swaying rhythm of a rocking chair. The melody pulls on emotional strings, plucking them one by one like a harp sifting through your emotional disposition. This is undoubtedly a cohesively arranged album meant for listening to in solitude because of the way each song ebbs and flows with grace and clarity. But listen with caution and care because the eloquent balance of For My Crimes can make you reminisce the present as if every moment is fleeting.
With a Beach House vibe and a folk-pop tinge, Nadler’s whispering voice in “Interlocking” will tickle the skin. Through an enchanting, almost trance-like melody, Nadler lures us in like a Siren with her expressive and harmonic musicality. Nadler cathartically rhymes her way through “All Out of Catastrophes” revealing heart-break-and-ache. As the shortest song on the album, it is honest and revealing. “Flamethrower” is an artistic lullaby; sounds of acoustic guitar with added repetitive vocals create a dreamy state of mind. Her vibrato echoes in the heart chamber, her murmuring voice stuck inside the chest.
For My Crimes sets a mood with a melancholy melody for introspection, although some songs lull with repetition and ordinary chord progressions. Nadler’s vulnerable voice is like emotional blackmail. Maybe this is where her value lies, in that the simplicity lets her voice seep into the skin of her listeners–lingering to create a sensational accessibility to our own emotions. Nadler treads lightly, but her vocalized emotions sink into your conscience. Although there is an absence of intricate music theory, there is a dispersed tranquility that lets beautiful melodies carry the album forward.
Marissa Nadler’s music is anything but criminal. For My Crimes advertises emotional turmoil like an accessory for the newest on-brand trend. Not in a pretentious way, but with the mindful transparency of self-awareness. For My Crimes is a musical remedy for despair, as Marissa Nadler lets us in on the nature of her melancholic state of mind.