Marissa Nadler

Pop Addict: Marissa Nadler’s Marissa Nadler

On Thursdays, Pop Addict presents infectious tunes from contemporary musicians across indie rock, pop, folk, electronica, and more.

Marissa Nadler: Marissa NadlerMarissa Nadler: Marissa Nadler (Box of Cedar, 6/14/11)

Marissa Nadler: “Baby, I Will Leave You in the Morning”

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A few years ago, when Marissa Nadler appeared on the indie-folk radar with her 2007 effort, Songs III: Bird on the Water, the Boston-based singer/songwriter was starting to get some much-deserved recognition in her brief but impressive career. Now, on her fifth proper LP in just seven years, Nadler has truly found a voice within the realm of dreamlike folk. Building on a style that she has crafted on past efforts, she continues to improve her fairytale folk pop, diving into deeper waters of heartbreak and reflection on this self-titled album.

Album opener “In Your Lair, Bear” sets the tone for the record, opening with a softly plucked acoustic steel string, as Nadler croons, “Where did you go, when the snow fell that year?” The song floats on softly and slowly, drifting through sleepy, delayed guitars, whispering percussion, subtle string arrangements, and a gorgeous vocal melody, before fading.

After such a strong opening, Nadler follows it up with even more melancholic yet euphonic arrangements and melodies, expanding on what was already presented in the opening track. And thus it becomes clear: Nadler is a pro. Churning out track after track, she is once again in her element, her dream pop moving onward, waywardly and lightly.

100 Unheralded Albums from 2010

Among the thousands of under-appreciated or under-publicized albums that were released in 2010, hundreds became our favorites and were presented in ALARM and on Of those, we pared down to 100 outstanding releases, leaving no genre unexplored in our list of this year’s overlooked gems.

Ólöf Arnalds

Pop Addict: Ólöf Arnalds’ Innundir Skinni

Every Thursday, Pop Addict presents infectious tunes from contemporary musicians across indie rock, pop, folk, electronica, and more.

Ólöf Arnalds

Ólöf Arnalds: Innundir Skinni (One Little Indian, 9/14/10)

Ólöf Arnalds: “Surrender”
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Icelandic singer and multi-instrumentalist Ólöf Arnalds has crafted an intimate and lovely sophomore record, Innundir Skinni, released on the London-based label One Little Indian. Arnalds, a touring member of Múm since 2003, follows up Við og Við – voted Iceland’s Record of the Year in 2007 – with nine songs produced by Sigur Rós keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Kjartan Sveinsson.

Classically trained on the violin and viola, and self-taught on the guitar and charango, Arnalds enlists the help of fellow Icelandic musicians Skúli Sverrisson, Davið Þór Jónsson, and Björk as well as Secret Chiefs 3 contributor Shahzad Ismaily.

Innundir Skinni – “Under the Skin” in English – is largely an album of balance, of the ebb and flow between quiet moments and orchestral bursts. It’s a calm yet affecting album, due in large part to Arnalds’ vocal charm. For the many instruments she plays, her most enchanting tool is her voice — at times folksy and melodic, at others high-pitched and lilting – drawing comparisons to Kate Bush and, in rare moments, Joanna Newsom. Yet her style, acutely Nordic, is distinctly her own.