Marissa Nadler - live music review (5 stars)

Marissa Nadler

Stereo, Glasgow, Tue 13 May


Waif-like guitar-picking girls are ten a penny these days, what with your Cat Powers and your Bat for Lashes already well established. And like the sphere of male singer-songwriters, it’s a field which could easily become saturated unless people apply a bit of quality control to their listening tastes.

Conversely, it’s also the kind of genre in which real talent can flourish, which brings us round to Marissa Nadler, the 27-year-old Bostonian appearing here as a guest of the rapidly-gaining-a-name-for-itself Huntley and Palmer’s Audio Club. Nadler appears before her seated audience in a demure flowing dress and a voice like the wind howling through trees.

She is, it doesn’t take long to dawn, a really quite special artist, and layers of poignancy are added with just enough artificial reverb to make it sound like she’s playing to an empty hall.

Among a stream of highlights, ‘Diamond Heart’ speaks of death and adventure in sober, explicit terms, but it was her cover of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘I’m on Fire’ that was truly stunning.

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