Marissa Nadler reveals the new single/video, “Couldn’t Have Done the Killing,” from her forthcoming album, The Path of the Clouds, out October 29th on Sacred Bones and Bella Union. “Couldn’t Have Done the Killing” is an ominous follow-up to “If I Could Breathe Underwater” and “Bessie, Did You Make It?.”
The accompanying video, directed by Tyler Derryberry and Christen Dute, pays homage to iconic TV series such as Unsolved Mysteries and In Search of…
“When Marissa came to us to make a video for a song on her new album, we were already aware of the album’s themes and her inspirations,” explain Derryberry and Dute. “While she was writing and recording the album sequestered at home during the pandemic, we stayed in touch, sharing our media diet of true crime and the paranormal. We exchanged links to podcasts about Skinwalkers, recommended our favorite serial killer documentaries, and discussed our favorite theories about DB Cooper.”
“We set out to recreate that moment in time when murders and bank robberies shared an equal plausibility with hauntings and high strangeness. Remember when innocently entertaining a conspiracy theory or two seemed to have no cultural or political consequences? When Coast To Coast AM would have us believing the government was hiding a UFO in a hangar somewhere, but no one was going to storm the capital over it?”
“The settings of Massachusetts and Maine appropriately enhanced the New England vibe of our and Marissa’s tone. Cabins older than the Great Depression and cemeteries older than the Revolutionary War are everywhere. Apartment buildings where college students still live today were the scenes of murders fifty years ago. Everybody seems to own an ax. We even did some shooting in Cumberland County, Maine, where Stephen King’s fictional town of Salem’s Lot is located. Turn on the camera, point it at the dark, and the witchiness just seems to seep in on its own.” @marissa_nadler
Marissa Nadler announces her ninth solo album, The Path of the Clouds, out October 29th on Sacred Bones & Bella Union, and shares the lead video, “Bessie, Did You Make It?” The Path of the Clouds is the most stylistically adventurous, lyrically transfixing, and melodically sophisticated collection of songs in her already rich discography. Gripped by wanderlust while suddenly housebound at the start of the pandemic in 2020, Nadler escaped into writing, and came back with a stunning set of songs about metamorphosis, love, mysticism, and murder. Blurring the line between reality and fantasy and moving freely between past and present, these 11 deeply personal, self-produced songs find Nadler exploring new landscapes, both sonic and emotional.
While she’s always been a brilliant guitarist, Nadler challenged herself to expand her palette for The Path of the Clouds, experimenting with synthetic textures that make the album feel untethered from time and space. Nadler also learned to play piano during the pandemic’s isolation, and she composed many of the songs on the album on keys rather than guitar, which further contributed to their exploratory feel. These songs are unmistakably Marissa Nadler’s, but they sound free to go places she’s never gone before.
One of Nadler’s distractions during the 2020 quarantine was binging reruns of Unsolved Mysteries. As she watched, she began to notice parallels between many of its stories and her own life. What began as a writing exercise became the bedrock of her songwriting process, as she came to inhabit the narratives that had so fascinated her. In lead single “Bessie, Did You Make It?,” Nadler inverts the canon of the murder ballad, crafting a narrative of female empowerment and survival.
The accompanying video was directed by Thou’s Mitch Wells who says, “When I first got the chance to hear Marissa’s new album, and was asked, ‘Which song would you like to do a video for?’ I sort of panicked because literally every song is SO good. It was like being at a buffet of all your favorite food and only being able to choose one thing to eat. I had a blast making the video, but there was always the pressure of ‘don’t let down the song.’ It’s such a beautiful opening track and I’m really lucky I was given the chance to be a part of it.”
Penelope Isles, the project of UK-born and bred siblings, co-songwriters and co-vocalists Lily and Jack Wolter, released their self-produced debut album Until The Tide Creeps in in 2018 on Bella Union. Today, on the heels of announcing an extensive UK tour for this Fall, the band shares the first taste of their forthcoming, not-yet-announced sophomore album.
“Sailing Still” is out now, alongside a captivating video directed by Jack. He explains, “Before the enforced break due to COVID-19, we spent pretty much all of 2019 driving ourselves around Europe and America having some incredible adventures as a band and it seemed that everything since then had been falling apart. Writing and recording new music as a huge part of the recovery process and when making this film for ‘Sailing Still’ I wanted Lily and I to get back on the road somehow, as travelling has been such a massive part of our band ever since we began. So I had this idea of filming Lily in a myriad of places and scenarios, both urban and rural, coastal and inland. Mountains and rivers, council flats and tunnels, cafes and bridges. We drove up and down the country for a week, sleeping in the van, and waking up at the crack of dawn to start filming again. Reconnecting as a band again but also spending time together as brother and sister was special for filming this real heartbreaker of a song.”
Lost Horizons – the project of Cocteau Twins’ Simon Raymonde & Richie Thomas of Dif Juz – released part one of its new album In Quiet Moments at the end of 2020 and is set to release part two, as well as the physical of the double album, on February 26th via Bella Union. Every track on the album features a guest vocalist, and today’s new single “Marie” features Marissa Nadler. The music video footage was created by Nadler while the editing and direction was done by Penelope Isles’ Jack Wolter.
Of the track, Lost Horizons said: “I don’t think there was ever a second I wasn’t going to find a song for Marissa to sing on the new lp. SO much cool stuff came out of our last collaborations on Ojalá, indeed I think we ended up recording four songs from the original idea of doing one! Marissa is a really great & generous collaborator as she really throws herself in deep, and commits to it fully. That is a rare and beautiful gift and Richie and I appreciate it enormously. It was a beast of a track to mix I’ll be honest, and that had nothing to do with Marissa’s vocals, in fact they were a breeze to mix. But the initial music that Richie and I improvised in our basement studio in Brighton was a bit messy and we didn’t use a click or anything to keep tempo so fixing anything later was a lost cause, but it is such a cool piece that i loved creating (i think i put 4 maybe 5 bass parts on with my old trusty Fender VI string bass guitar!) that even when it’s kinda falling apart during that instrumental section near the end, i still love it. It probably sounds like it took half an hour to mix but the truth is it took weeks of starting it, scrapping it, starting over, scrapping it, etc. And yes, i fully intend to ask Marissa to contribute to our next one too.”
Marissa Nadler adds: “It was a dream to collaborate with Simon and Ritchie for Lost Horizons again. Marie is an aquatic reverie about this title character entering different dimensions. Maybe we’re all feeling a little submerged, watching the time. This stream of consciousness song came from listening to the track that Simon sent, and birthed this hypnagogic hallucination of a story.”