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Music / Marissa Nadler

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Marissa Nadler (born April 5, 1981) is an American folk singer-songwriter known for her dreamy, often eerie songs, often revolving around her own cast of characters. Said to be working in the American Gothic tradition, Nadler's trademark sound is her acoustic twelve-stringed guitar and mezzo-soprano voice. She is also a fine artist.


  • Ballads of Living and Dying (2004)
  • The Saga of Mayflower May (2005)
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  • Songs III: Bird on the Water (2007)
  • Little Hells (2009)
  • Marissa Nadler (2011)
  • The Sister (2012)

Provides examples of:

  • Damsel in Distress: Numerous examples, for example Lily in "Lily, Henry and the Willow Trees" and the unnamed girl in "Calico". Nadler's women tend to be violated rather than rescued, though.
  • Driven to Suicide: It is implied that Marie, jilted wife of Mr. John Lee in "Velveteen Rose", kills herself. However, the song "Mr. John Lee" revisited, from Marissa Nadler, tells us that Marie is alive and remarried.
  • Flower Motifs
  • Grief Song: "Box of Cedar" is narrated from the point of view of a woman mourning her dead lover, who is "coming home in a box of cedar". Also "Diamond Heart".
  • Inspired by…: "Hay Tantos Muertos" is actually a Pablo Neruda poem; "Annabelle Lee" sets Edgar Allan Poe's poem to music.