Earlier this week, we published our review of Marissa Nadler's new album. Here's the gist: "Strangers is an astounding combination of styles that takes music that is fairly usual, and turns it into something completely unique that strikes slowly but deeply, and irrevocably." So yeah, you could say that we found the experience quite enjoyable.

To further prove how hard we fell for it, we asked Marissa to guide us through the journey. Here's what she had to say:

'Divers Of The Dust'

After often fixating on the elation and brutality of falling in and out of love on my previous albums, my goal with Strangers was to meet a new muse. On 'Divers Of The Dust', the scene for the album opens with a surreal dream of the end of the world. The waves are pulling entire cities into the ocean, and I imagined myself floating above this scene, lying on floating rocks as the cliffs disintegrated beneath me.

'Katie I Know'

This is not a fictional story with a made up character. I think a lot of people think that about my songs because there are so many names. I learned early on not to use people's real names (whoops!). Anyway, this song details a longing for the reconciliation of a friendship, and the difficulty of moving on from people. It also deals with the closing up of my world, and general themes of isolation. I wrote it on the 12-string guitar but it turned into an entirely different beast, and I ended up liking that transformation. Eyvind Kang's string parts on choruses really transformed this into a world, and Milky Burgess' wonderful electric tone really darkened it up.


This is kind of a memory song, closely linked with 'All The Colors of the Dark'. I'm looking back on someone. To me, musically, I really enjoyed layering all of the vocals and writing this song. It's kind of a bleak, cosmic feel that's rampant through the album and Randall Dunn laid down some pretty space age synth that I'm way into.

'Hungry Is The Ghost'

A Hungry Ghost is a concept in Chinese Buddhism and Chinese traditional religion representing beings who are driven by intense emotional needs in an animalistic way. This song is pretty self explanatory, and definitely first person narrative. Let's just say, I can relate to the concept and leave it at that.

'All The Colors Of The Dark'

I'm sure we can all relate to driving to a past love's house, or at least wanting to. I wanted to close the chapter once and for all on some lingering memories, and had imagined for years what had become of this person. It's a snapshot of a single moment in time, waiting in a car, trying to muster up the mojo to go into a party and see this person again, if for anything else, to close the book.


Looking back on life, there's often a few people that stick out of the mire. Sometimes the other faces blur. Even with someone, you can feel lonely.

'Janie In Love'

This is a song about contrast and highs and lows. Janie is a fake name for a real person. It's all in the song.


This song was birthed after imagining the scene in the Wizard Of Oz where Dorothy wakes up, not sure if Oz was a dream or a reality. In the same way, I'm waking up from my dream, recounting the surreal images I saw of birds falling out of the sky, and the marching of strangers. It is unclear to me what was real and what was imagined.

'Shadow Show Diane'

I live in a triple decker (for now), and sit on the porch sometimes. You can see shadow shows and well... I don't make a habit out of voyeurism. I just happened upon the scene accidentally, and the idea for the song came into my head.

'Nothing Feels The Same'

This song deals with disenchantment, but also through the lens of everything around me disappearing into the ether. 'Nothing Feels The Same' and 'Hungry Is The Ghost' are kind of sister songs to me, in some ways, as they both hint at this uneasy feeling that I would cheapen by putting a short synopsis on it here.


This is the song after the storm, anchored in reality. Probably one of my favorite album closers on the seven so far.