Marissa Nadler

The Saga of Mayflower May

The cover of Marissa Nadler's sophomore disc, The Saga of Mayflower May, resembles a Victorian daguerreotype hanging upon a wall covered in richly patterned floral wallpaper. Way I see it, for this record Nadler has assumed the persona of Mayflower May -- a gorgeously shy 'n' awkward young woman of the late 1800s perpetually hiding herself behind thick brown locks of hair and ankle-length nightgowns. May spent her days roaming the woods on the family estate just outside Philadelphia. Her parents shunned her, fearing May was partially retarded (possibly possessed) because she would wake up in the dead of night, head to the parlor -- a room that produced a haunting echo -- and croon spooky folk lullabies till sunrise. I attempted to assuage her family's fears; I pleaded with them, explaining that May wasn't at all evil but simply a little melancholic child somehow proficient on 12-string guitar and ukulele and in possession of a precocious talent for fusing 1960s folk, Mazzy Star-inspired indie-pop, and a dash of Tiny Tim's vocal histrionics. Obviously, they didn't know what the fuck I was talking about, so they sent both of us to the sanatorium.

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