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The eighth album from Marissa Nadler, For My Crimes, is the sound of turmoil giving way to truth. The songs stare down the dark realization that love may not be enough to keep two people together through distance and differing needs. By asking these difficult questions about her relationships, Nadler has found a stronger sense of self and a sharper voice as both a songwriter and a vocalist, culminating in her most evocative entry in an already impressive discography. The album is released via Bella Union and Sacred Bones. The opening title track is classic Nadler: a sweeping, vaguely Southern drama of voices, strings, and acoustic guitar, that walks the fine line between character song and personal indictment by metaphor. For My Crimes spawned out of a songwriting exercise in which Nadler wrote from the perspective of someone on death row, but the song casts a dark shadow over an album that turns marital conflict into inner reflection. Helping Nadler dig down into the song’s remorseful soul is her old friend Angel Olsen, who serves as a distraught echo from beyond in the chorus. Dreaminess and eeriness have often been two sides of the same coin in Marissa Nadler songs. Where For My Crimes and Blue Vapor come from her dark side, the album has plenty of moments that twinkle in their sadness and sentimentality. I Can’t Listen to Gene Clark Anymore is one of those highly specific songs you’ll get if you’ve ever lost a favourite band to your own broken heart.
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