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MARISSA NADLER Blue Vapor gets 7/10


Marissa Nadler
Blue Vapor
Sacred Bones/Bella Union

7/10

Blue Vapor is the first single from gothic balladeer Marissa Nadler’s eighth album, For My Crimes, and continues her exploration of the darker sides of human nature and palpably heavy atmospheric arrangements.

The song begins with just plain, distorted guitar and Nadler’s clear voice recounting a tale of longing and rejection. The chorus of “Blue Vapor” rings strong with its repeated incantations and imagery of bone, the crawling of time and nightfall. The drums and cello don’t kick in until the final third, and take the song out with the repeating chorus, combusting the emotions until there’s nothing left.

Nadler’s vocals are the star here, taking the stripped down song to a stately smoulder to convey the dark lyrics. The extra backing vocals do tend to detract and give Blue Vapor an over-polished sheen in places, but overall Blue Vapor’s simple unfettered structure and general post-breakup malaise will appeal to folk and neo-goth fans, with possibly a penchant to chain smoke following a separation while watching the blue smoke rise and dissipate into the ether.

PAUL DOUGHTY

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