There are summer songs that are great for blasting out of car stereos in the middle of the afternoon, and then there are summer songs that sound good at night. Marissa Nadler’s seventh studio album, July, is full of lots of the latter category. The Boston singer has amassed a discography tipped towards the gothic end of the folk spectrum. Her ballads are spectral and spare, even when she adds electronic elements or a full band. Even within the somewhat limited confines of folk, Nadler continues to stretch out. In 2010 she teamed up with the American black metal band Xasthur, a collaboration that turned heads but makes sense given Nadler’s love of dark imagery.
Unlike her past work, which is heavily steeped in metaphor, July is deeply personal, born out of a messy former relationship. On “Fireworks,” a break-up is compared with July 4th fireworks, balancing emotion with the titular explosions. Nadler recently stopped by our Studio 1A with cellist/singer Janel Leppin, and the pair performed this stunning live rendition of “Firecrackers,” today’s song of the day.