Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sweet Marissa

I first heard Marissa Nadler on a recent SoundCheck show on NPR and her performance blew me away. Her lush, dreamy vocals, beautiful guitar work, and mature lyrics caught me off guard. Marissa was born in Boston and released her first cd in 2004. Her voice reminds me a little bit of Hope Sandoval and Joanna Newsom—with a commanding, melancholy feel to it. After her fourth release, she was dropped by her record company. Through a Kickstarter campaign, she raised funds from her fans to produce a new, self-titled cd and a video in early 2011. For some reason, she’s more popular in Europe (they have better taste?) than in the States. If you like what you hear, her cd is available directly from her website: It’s well worth it, as every song on the cd is outstanding.

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Real Gem

If you’re into quiet, hauntingly beautiful vocals, and meditative, classically influenced instrumentals, then Gem Club is your kind of group. It consists primarily of singer/pianist Christopher Barnes and cellist/bells/singer Kristen Drymala. The two make some heartbreakingly pretty music together. They remind me a little of Bon Iver, but their sound is truly their own. They’re from Somerville, MA and just released their first full-length debut, Breakers, this year.