One of of the shows featured in our Weekend Jumpstart yesterday was Marissa Nadler, who will be headlining at the Church on York this very night. Her new album, July, released this month through the excellent Sacred Bones label, is a ghostly and stunning piece of work, broad in scope and yet utterly focused. It’s something of a coming of age for a singer-songwriter who has been doing this for a while (this is her sixth album).
In anticipation of tonight’s show, I got to shoot Marissa a quick question and answer session, which you can read below.
One of the most eye-catching details about July is the choice of producer Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Earth). How did that come about, and how does that very different kind of music influence your own work?
I love heavy music, and he is a king of the heavy music scene.
I was wondering about the non-musical influences on your work as well. The music is so evocative and quite visual, and I know you’ve worked as an art teacher. Are there any non-musical artists who have inspired your music in general and this album in particular?
Thanks! Lucien Freud, Cormac McCarthy, Giacommetti, Schiele…and Pablo Neruda.
July is your sixth album, and while each album seems to have widened your fanbase a little further, was there any time (particularly during the self-release stage of your career) where you questioned whether you should continue?
Well, let’s just say that there is a feeling of being renewed and a renewed interest in my songwriting that feels really good right now! I’m happy to be on great labels and have a supportive team in place to help broaden my musical reach.
Sacred Bones is a label that I have a huge amount of respect for and that seems to really put faith in their artists. Considering your last two albums have been self-released, how has it been working with an independent label again?
Amazing. That’s all I have to say.
On another note, how weird is it sharing a label with David Lynch?
It’s fucking amazing. He’s one of my personal idols, so I just hope to get to meet him one day.
You have a number of guest musicians on the album, but it still remains very focused. When writing such intimate songs, how does that level of collaboration come into it? Is it pre-planned or did those others come on board at a later stage?
People come on at a later date usually. I spent a long time writing these songs, and the production and addition of some instrumentation just broadened the colors and gave new depth to the work.
Finally, you have a show coming up in LA on Friday at the Church on York. Is this your biggest tour yet? How has it been so far?
It’s been going wonderfully, and I’m really happy to have a wonderful band and play these songs the way I’ve heard them in my head for so long. Thanks!
Pick up tickets to Marissa Nadler’s show at the Church on York tonight.
For more info: