A master of creating rich dreamscape atmospheres, Nadler’s voice shines and glides even more with a full band accompanying her. Produced by Chris Coady, the starry musical guests include longtime collaborator Myles Baer, Simone Pace (Blonde Redhead), and Dave Scher (Farmer Dave). Few contemporary artists can match the stunning ride of Marissa's reverb vocals that are a journey into themselves on every rose tinged track. Little Hells displays a brighter leap in musical maturity and attention to detail, as the fantasmagoric sounds delve into melancholy nuggets, sometimes erotic, sometimes gutting, but filled with a gorgeous sense of serene hope more so than previous album, Songs III: Bird on the Water.
Building on her hazy sonic foundations, Nadler ventures into territory as varied as the Brill Building-tinged pulse of “Mary Come Alive” and the title track’s old-time country loam -- a trek that’s both breathtakingly scenic and psychically compelling.
Sadness can be found in the undercurrents of Little Hells, to be sure. But there are just as many moments of serene reflection and quiet contentment in pleasures as simple as the warmth of the sun or the scent of flowers -- the latter of which permeates several of the new album’s offerings. That mixing of tones affords Little Hells both delicacy and strength -- a balance that, it might be said, exists in Marissa Nadler herself.