You know those afternoons where you’re scrolling IG, not really thinking anything is about to jump off, but then it does?
This was one of those afternoons.
Fresh off a satisfying nap, I was thumbing through my feed, when I saw Marissa Nadler had some new music out.
Now, if you’re not already familiar with her singing, please go listen to her add her very particular brand of ethereal flare PAR-EXCELLENCE to this molten hot cover of Journey’s, “Of a Lifetime.”
Chills when she hits those, “ooh, ooh, oohs,” right?
In any case, reading further into her post, I find out that she’s released this song in collaboration with former COCTEAU TWINS bass player/keyboardist, Simon Raymonde, and former touring member of the Jesus and Mary Chain/Cocteau Twins, drummer Richie Thomas.
I’ll admit to not being farmiliar with Mr. Thomas, but Raymonde’s robust, deliciously rich bass playing from Cocteau Twins was something I knew very well, and I was more or less sold before I even bought the song.
And what a song it is… holy smokes, holy smokes, holy smokes.
While no one outright steals the show here, Ms. Nadler’s voice is given prime real estate, and for good reason.
Also, and just so there’s no confusion, she’s in no way doing Liz-Fraser lite in this song.
She’s doing her own thing, and the song floats extra pleasantly as a result.
If anything, her vocal performance here somewhat reminds me of the moodiness of Siouxsie Sioux’s vocals from, “Face to Face,” though, far less acrobatic.
In any case, her verse work is strong, but it’s in the choruses that she shines brightest.
Leading into the second half of the song, the chorus features her harmonizing with herself, with her crystalline vocals melting away from the ear in both the left and right channels.
Hearing this for the first time, it’s damn near-euphoric.
In the instrumentation department, Raymonde and Thomas bring a rhythmic interplay to the proceedings that’s both dexterous and soothing. Thomas’ playing brings to mind the spirit of some of Bill Bruford’s drumming on King Crimson’s, “Frame by Frame,” full of fills, but never a disservice to the groove. It’s tasteful, textural, and has almost a playfulness about it that I really appreciate.
Raymonde’s bass tone has retained every bit of it’s warmth and presence from his Cocteau Twins days. His keyboards are just as dreamy as they were back then too, and I think I even heard a mellotron creeping in the background there?
In conclusion, I couldn’t think of a better song for the winter months. Grab yourself a cup of tea, watching the evening’s sunset, and appreciate the efforts of three master craftspeople coming together to create something that’s truly, sonically superior.