A Seamless Flow of Music
After Marissa Nadler’s latest release in October 2021: The Path of The Clouds, the ambitious musician/songwriter is back with a follow-up EP titled The Wrath of The Clouds. In it, these tracks complement and build off of ideas and motifs that were dissected in the prior release. However, this EP still is able to stand on its own with interesting tracks carrying various moods and tempos throughout. In particular, just like in The Path of The Clouds, this EP has similar themes of water and beach-like qualities. We can see this from the names of tracks such as “Seabird” or “Saunders Ferry Lane.”
Nadler excels in world-building within this EP. Each of the 5 tracks feels unique in their own way, but at the same time, they flow directly into the other for a very easy listening experience. This results in each of the five tracks moving seamlessly from one to the next. Some, such as the opening song “Guns on the Sundeck” have a more somber tone; the music is in a minor key and features a more steady acoustic strumming. In contrast, the final of the five songs in the EP, “Seabird” has almost the exact opposite atmosphere. The song is in a major key and, besides having a little guitar, the song features a whole band with woodwind instruments and light percussion as well. This track in contrast is also in a much faster tempo and feels much closer to a pop song structure compared to “Guns on the Sundeck.”
As for particular songs that stood out besides the opening and closing tracks, the third track “Some Secret Existence” has a sense of longing that the other songs lack. This track also features some interesting and uncommon chord progressions. Immediately, the song opens up with a major 7th: a chord that creates a sense of whimsy and has a dreamy quality to it. Other than that, the song utilizes lots of dissonant and open chords which also help create that feeling of longing and escapism in the listener. This song also features more echoey vocals which emphasize the melodic line and the harmonies when they are present. The song ends with some drone-like sounds as the vocals fade out. This fading echo that is felt when listening with headphones is a very cool feature and fun additive to the EP.
Overall, with over a decade in the music industry, it is clear that Nadler has been able to refine her craft even further in her newest EP, The Wrath of The Clouds. Each of the five tracks is original and with a particular mood and sound to match. Yet, all of the songs work together and fit in well with overall themes of water, beaches and— of course, clouds. This short and sweet EP is a wonderful part 2 to the first full-length album that came out the year prior, and successfully builds on those original seeds Nadler planted.