Here’s one for the downtrodden romantics.

Boston’s Marissa Nadler is an example of an artist who has no bad albums – no small feat seven records into a career. If you love one of her quality collections of introspective folk, you’ll love them all. Her new album, July, continues the streak.

There are a few surprising musical flourishes on this outing; the synth in ‘Dead City Emily’, the orchestral flourishes and blues guitar of ‘Was It A Dream’, the dual guitar in ‘Holiday In’. But for the most part, the star of the show is Nadler’s voice, with good reason. Her voice is incredibly striking and inherently sad. I’m sure that even if she were recounting the best day of her life, it would still sound like a loved one had just passed. Couple this with her ever-mournful lyrics, and there’s not much in the way of levity. A small sample: “If you don’t make it now, you’re never going to make it”; “Maybe it’s the weather / But I’ve got nothing in my heart”.

Not exactly a party-starter, but for those with a heavy heart, Marissa Nadler and July will ease the pain.

4/5 stars

July is out now on Bella Union/[PIAS].

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