How much buzz must there be about an artist before she is an overnight sensation?
I’m not in the habit of raving about musicians after hearing one performance—there have been too many about whom I’ve obsessed for weeks or months only to have them disappear—but I cautiously think that Marissa Nadler might be the real thing. The Stereogum crowd appears to agree, as they invited her to participate in OKX (she covers “No Surprises”), but the real thing is in her songs and her voice. I was working down the podcasts on my iPod and decided to play her in-studio appearance on KEXP in my car on the way in this morning. Wow, what a sound. Just lifted the hair on the back of my neck. The vocal quality bridges Jeff Buckley and classic 60s folks like Joan Baez, and the songwriting recalls 80s psychedelic folk revival (in fact, there are moments listening to her when I hear strains of Mazzy Star loud and clear—if Hope Sandoval were a high soprano).
She’s kind of a local, too, having grown up in Needham; though, since she makes a reference to being from a “plastic place” in her KEXP interview, I’m guessing that she doesn’t harbor a lot of love for the Bay State. Looks like she’ll be at the Middle East on September 11; I might have to check it out.