When: Wed., Feb. 19, 8 p.m. 2014
Boston singer-songwriter Marissa Nadler began her career as an acoustic-guitar-driven folk act, fingerpicking poignant songs about breakups, heartache, and other lamentations. Precious she is not, and her latest album, July, finds her working with producer Randall Dunn (known for his work with metal bands Sunn O))) and Wolves in the Throne Room) to further flesh out her dark sound. Weepy, eerie pedal steel accentuates “Drive” and “Firecrackers,” while spare percussive elements, haunted harmonies, and strings imbue “1923” with a kind of sacredness, building the song to emotional heights as Nadler pleads Baby, come back to me. Nadler’s voice is the real focal point of the album: Wrapped in ghostly reverb, harmonized, and mixed to the fore, it penetrates the soul not unlike the music of Leonard Cohen. “Dead City Emily” provides listeners with the strongest evidence of Nadler’s intoxicating power, engulfing listeners in a hypnotic melody made all the more potent by Dunn’s handiwork. See Nadler perform on Wednesday at The Chapel (777 Valencia St., San Francisco) with Donovan Quinn.
Price: $12, $15