Marissa Nadler, ENTRANCE (Guy Blakeslee)

Marissa Nadler

For more than 12 years, Marissa Nadler has perfected her own take on the exquisitely sculpted gothic American songform. On her seventh full-length, Strangers, she has shed any self-imposed restrictions her earlier albums adhered to, stepped through a looking glass, and created a truly monumental work.

In the two years since 2014’s elegiac, autobiographical July, Nadler has reconciled the heartbreak so often a catalyst for her songwriting. Turning her writing to more universal themes, Nadler dives deep into a surreal, apocalyptic dreamscape. Her lyrics touch upon the loneliness and despair of the characters that inhabit them. These muses are primal, fractured, disillusioned, delicate, and alone. They are the unified voice of this record, the titular “strangers.”

This sense of “end times” is exemplified by the sparse, piano-driven opener “Divers of the Dust.” Written utilizing a Dadaist cut-up technique (popularized by David Bowie and William S. Burroughs), Nadler layers hypnagogic imagery of waves pulling cities into the ocean over a very personal tale of longing.

Once again partnered with July producer Randall Dunn (Sunn O))), Earth, Black Mountain) Nadler has created a new album equal in sonic quality to the apocalyptic lyrical tone that covers its 44 minutes. In places her voice and guitar play off subsonic synths, while elsewhere, as in “Katie I Know,” a pulsing drumbeat launches the song off into an intense, confrontational place. “Janie in Love” is another full-band highlight, marrying the album’s most allegorically primal lyrics to the melodic hooks that makes Nadler one of the best songwriters working today.

Guy Blakeslee solo (of The Entrance Band)

The Entrance Band (formerly called Entrance) is a band started by Guy Blakeslee. Blakeslee was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland and first gained notice as a member of The Convocation Of.... He later left the band and moved to Chicago to pursue a solo career under the guise of the name Entrance. He performed regularly for the next 18 months at a bar called The Hideout, which eventually gained him the attention of Tiger Style Records.

Entrance toured with Sonic Youth, Devendra Banhart, Will Oldham, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Dungen and Cat Power. Blakeslee has released his music through Tiger Style Records and Fat Possum Records, as well through his own record label, Entrance Records.

Cat Martino

Rumor has it her birth father was a guitar player from Texas; She was mouthing melodies before words. Truth is Cat Martino is a voice emerging that draws you in by its natural strength and intimacy. Cat calls her original style "Some kind of Soul". It's a little bit indie-folk-rock-experimental, born from influences diverse as Laura Nyro, The Beatles, and Bjork… Cat played her guitar, piano, and looped her voice and instruments to create layers that dream a sound all her own.

Martino has toured internationally, in support of Rufus Wainwright, RIDE frontman Mark Gardener, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, and more. Cat has enjoyed singing with and/or organizing small choirs for local friends Sharon Van Etten, Sufjan Stevens, Joseph Arthur, & Swedish artists Anna Ternheim, Nina Persson (The Cardigans), A Camp, and Marit Bergman. Other musical conspirators have been found in multi-instrumentalist/Producer Jack Petruzzelli (Rufus Wainwright, Patti Smith), Ben Kalb (Regina Spektor), Nathan Larson (Angela McKluskey, Shudder to Think.), Matt Johnson (Jeff Buckley), and Joe & Robin Bennet (of Goldrush, Dusty and the Dreaming Spires Truckfest).

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