Meet Marisa Nadler – The Pop Art Lab Interview


PAL Interview, Huset, Copenhagen April 22 – 2013: Marissa Nadler

For American singer/songwriter, Marisa Nadler, creativity isn’t just a by-product of a fertile imagination – it’s a way of life. Trained in fine art, Marissa’s love of imagery is abundantly evident in her songs. Her hypnotic, folkloric, compositions are more like aural tableaus, conjuring up vivid scenarios and complete stories of the lives of the characters contained within them.

She is a modern day storyteller; her songs echo with scenes of winding dusty roads, lost love and of happiness snatched away in the timespan of a breath. Combined with her otherworldly vocals and rhythmic guitar style, Marissa’s songs are lullabies for these uncertain times. Through her songs we can identify with the pain of loss, with the tension of sweet love turned sour and reassure ourselves that these very human emotions are collective.

On her recent tour to Europe, POP ART LAB sat backstage with Marissa to discover more about what drives her artistically and how a girl always needs a little black dress on tour…

PAL: Hi Marissa, thank you so much for this interview with POP ART LAB, we are all hooked on your songs. You are often portrayed as a singer of ‘dream pop’ but how would you personally describe your own sound?

MN: I think the word dreamy is a very apt adjective. I take inspiration from so many different genres of music but it seems to come together into this amalgamation of atmosphere. Regardless of that atmosphere though, a song is a song. I strive for all else to just write songs that people can relate to and that mean something to me. I think good music is borderless and that is what I hope to attain.

PAL: There seems to be many layers to your creativity: you are an accomplished artist, songwriter and guitarist – why is creativity so important to you, and how do you keep your inner muse alive?

MN: I don’t know any other way. I’ve always been creative, and it’s just a compulsion… almost. I try to be true to myself but muses come and go. I struggle with connecting with a muse, but I know even the deepest dry spell can end. These songs come in waves and I just try to surf efficiently!

PAL: That’s the perfect analogy for those creative tussles we all have. Now, you have garnered much praise for your unique vocals and guitar style from the music industry globally. How do you keep this praise in perspective, and what have you learned from it?

MN: I’m my own harshest critic. I’m sure you hear that from everyone. I hate to admit that most of the praise goes in one ear and out the other. I think humans are programmed to fixate on that one negative or bitchy comment and let it eat them alive.

PAL: I think us women are especially good at only focusing on the negative and blocking out the positive for sure.

MN: Yes, I catch myself doing this sometimes: fixating on the little bit of bad and losing sight of the immense amount of good! But, I try to check myself. The most important thing is that I meet my own expectations.

PAL: Absolutely. So how was tonight’s show for you?

MN: It was great! Copenhagen was a great show. It felt so wonderful to show up here after several years, on a Monday, and have such a wonderfully warm and respectful audience. I’ll definitely come back.

PAL: Touring can be hard work. What do you take with you to remind you of home and what essentials are always packed in your suitcase?

MN: Lots of black dresses, a silk robe. You know, I try to bring nice stuff with me and things that make me feel at home. I’ll travel with scented candles and my favorite warm and fuzzy things.

PAL: A few home comforts and a little black dress are always the best travelling companions, but who else has joined you on this tour?

MN: A young musician named Will Sampson opened for four of the shows. But, the rest I did completely alone.

PAL: After Europe, you are home for a while, but what are your plans for the rest of 2013?

MN: I have a lot of plans. I’m doing collaboration with Balam Acab, maybe another song or two with Angel Olsen, some other cool collaborations and most importantly, writing and recording a new full length record.

PAL: The PAL team look forward to that very much Marissa! It will be on a nonstop loop in our office I am sure of that. Many thanks again for your time and we wish you a very successful 2013.

Interview: Persia Bravin
Compiled by: Claus Frisenberg Povlsen

Make sure to check out our Spotify compilation. 

Full Bio and Official Videos in Recent post.

More information on Marissa Nadler:

Bandcamp / Etsy

Marissa Nadler Copenhagen Show!

We are proud to support acclaimed US indie folk artist Marissa Nadler for her upcoming concert in Copenhagen April 22th!
Come meet and greet and join event @ Facebook!
Stay updated on Marissa Nadler’s Europe Tour and go follow her at Twitter or Facebook
For any press enquiries please contact us!

Marissa Nadler’s voice was described by the popular online music website Pitchfork Media as “a voice you would follow straight into Hades”. In the Boston Globe, her voice and music is described: “She has a voice that, in mythological times, could have lured men to their deaths at sea, an intoxicating soprano drenched in gauzy reverb that hits bell-clear heights, lingers, and tapers off like rings of smoke. Hardly anyone considers Nadler a folk musician.”

Music critics describe Nadler’s songs as having American Gothic leanings; her stories often take place in an imagined, idealistic time with a cast of characters of her own creation and introspective themes of lonliness and grief. Her characters sometimes recur, even across multiple albums. Such examples include “Mayflower May”, a self-professed alter-ego, and another character, “Silvia.” Yet, in recent years, it has emerged that the characters are less make-believe than listeners thought and are based on real people, and their real lives, which she revealed in an interview with the music website Her links to American Gothic are reinforced by “Annabelle Lee,” the last song on her debut album, Ballads of Living and Dying, which puts the poem of the same title by Edgar Allan Poe to a musical backing.

Singing in a mezzo-soprano, the foundation of her songs are her acoustic guitar, often accompanied by a variety of instruments and an ambient reverb-laden production. She has been known to play in open tunings on several songs. Her influences include John Fahey, Basho, Patti Smith, Fleetwood Mac, Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush, and Leonard Cohen.
She has lately collaborated with and/or has collaborations in the works with James Blackshaw, Angel Olsen, Balam Acab, Xasthur, Jesse Sykes and The Sweet Hereafter, and many more.

Marissa Nadler released her first album, Ballads of Living and Dying, on the underground vinyl label Eclipse Records in 2004; her follow-up, The Saga of Mayflower May, was released in July 2005. Both records were distributed in the United States by Eclipse Records, and by the UK label Beautiful Happiness in Europe. Eclipse Records’ Ed Hardy, who runs a mostly vinyl record label formerly in the desert of Bullhead City Arizona, is credited by Marissa herself as having brought her into the musical world after she appeared on a compilation called “For the Dead In Space”. This compilation, a tribute to Pearls Before Swine, introduced Marissa to the independent music world.

Marissa released her third record Songs III: Bird on the Water on Peacefrog Records in Europe on March 12, 2007. The album was released in the US and Canada on August 12, 2007 by Kemado Records. Songs III: Bird on the Water.

Her fourth full-length record, Little Hells, was released March 3, 2009, receiving high praise from many critics including 4 Star reviews from magazines such as Mojo, Rolling Stone in France and Germany, Uncut, Q. It received an 8.3 from, with critic Grayson Currin writing, “Surrounded by little else but her own melancholy, Nadler sums up her career’s existential despair: ‘Ghosts and lovers/ They will haunt you for a while,’ she sings. And while they do, Little Hells suggests through 10 of Nadler’s best songs yet, the sadness will either kill you or keep you going.”

In early 2010, she contributed to the black metal project, Xasthur, with the final album “Portal of Sorrow”.
On June 14, 2011, an eponymous record was released worldwide on Nadler’s own label, Box of Cedar Records.
On May 29, she released “The Sister,” a short “companion” album to her self-titled record released in 2011 featuring eight songs.
She is currently working on a new album, as well as many collaborations, including a future project with James Blackshaw, Balam Acab, and some songs with Angel Olsen.

Ballads of Living and Dying (2004)
The Saga of Mayflower May (July 2005)
Songs III: Bird on the Water (March 2007)
Little Hells (March 2009)
Marissa Nadler (June 14, 2011)
The Sister (May 2012)

Spotify Mixes

Spotify Mixtapes!

Here’s a selected list of our mixes. Get inspired!

No Depression Mix
A blend of mostly early to mid 60s US rural folk with touches of bluegrass!

Cinematic Mix
Obscure tunes mainly taken from soundtracks to represent your own fictive soundtrack!

Etheral Folk Mix
Pearls from the late 60s early 70s acid folk scene!

Strychnine Mix
Early US 60s rock’n'roll with focus on the US NorthWest scene which gave birth to punk/garage!

Northern Ice Mix
2012 sounds representing the cold Northern Scandinavia with a blend of indie and electronica!

Black 80s Mix
Late 70s early 80s indie new wave and synth spiced with goth!

Summersphere Mix
Set of tunes made for a walk on the beach or woods! Should fit an off day or holiday morning!

Pop Art Lab – Top 50 Albums 2012!

Here is our list of 2012 favourite albums! It has been a great year and we could easily expand it to a Top 100! Please note titles ranging in Top 15 to Top 50 have been almost impossible to rank – All titles are strongly recommended within their respective genres! The list do NOT include EPs! Lastly – Please note we cover a wide range of genres from more independent to multimillion selling artists! Pop Art Lab specialize in what’s HOT and NEW and we believe this list reflects the most breaking NOW sounds of 2012.
All albums leads you to direct free streaming via Spotify.

Pop Art Lab wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thanks for all your suppport!
Editor in Chief,
Claus Uriza aka Claus Frisenberg Povlsen

1. Teen – In Limbo

2. Chromatics – Kill for Love

3. Anna Von Hausswolff – Ceremony

4. Grimes – Visions

5. Cat Power – Sun

6. Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man

7. alt-J – An Awesome Wave

8. Melody’s Echo Chamber – Melody’s Echo Chamber

9. Holy Other – Held (not available in full)

10. Beach House – Bloom

11. First Aid Kid – The Lion’s Roar

12. The XX – Coexist

13. Father John Misty – Fear Fun

14. Efterklang – Piramida

15. Grizzly Bear – Shields

16. Ane Trolle – Honest Wall

17. Daughn Gibson – All Hell

18. Blondes – Blondes

19. Tame Impala – Lonerism

20. Julia Holter – Ekstasis

21. The Walkmen – Heaven

22. Taken by Trees – Other Worlds

23. Crystal Castles – (III)

24. Arial Pink’s Hanted Graffiti – Mature Themesi

25. WhoMadeWho – Brighter

26. Lianne La Havas – I Your Love Big Enough

27. Cold Specks – I Predict a Graceful Expulsion

28. Kendrick Lamar – Good Kid m.a.a.d City

29. Jacob Bellens – The Daisy Age

30. Laurel Halo – Quarantine

31. Animal Collective – Centipede Hz

32. Actress – R.I.P.

33. Raveonettes – Observator

34. Django Django – Django Django

35. Killer Mike – R.A.P. Music

36. Flying Lotus – Until the Quiet Comes (not available in full)

37. School of Seven Bells – Ghostory

38. Hot Chip – In Our Heads

39. Frank Ocean – Channel Orange

40. Andy Stott – Luxury Problems

41. Bear in Heaven – I love You, It’s Cool

42. Teengirl Fantasy – Tracer

43. The Shins – Port of Tomorrow

44. Passion Pit – Gossamer

45. Rihanna – Unapologetic (not available in full)

46. Lana Del Rey – Born to Die

47. Diagrams – Black Light

48. Rebecca & Fiona – I Love You, Man

49. Norah Jones – Little Broken Hearts

50. Alicia Keys – Girl on Fire

51. Madonna – MDMA

Pop Art Lab closes its SL sim

Pop Art Lab closes its SL sim in November 2012 – but keeps the train rolling!

The time has come to step away for a while from virtual worlds. After spending 5 years testing and playing with Second Life and Virtual Worlds platforms, I have decided to take hiatus. It has been a fantastic ride but I don’t think we can push it much further without significant changes in the technologies surrounding these environments.

This is not a permanent farewell to Second Life from Pop Art Lab, more of an extended break of our activities and a chance for us to reflect on our past successes and future projects but without the day to day responsibility of changing streams, worrying about tier payments and constant promotion of our services.

We already accomplished more than I ever dreamt about (brief Google search list 490 unique hits: “pop art lab”= 204.000!).

Allow me to list some highlights:

  • Created the very first fully immersive music jukebox worldwide enabling avatars to meet in virtual environments and walk around exploring 4 separate music streaming channels
  • 75.000-100.000 visitors
  • 15-20 virtual TV shows/concerts
  • 2000 new full length albums streamed
  • Mentioned in Los Angeles Times (for creating designs for Craig Lyons RL/SL concert)
  • Mentioned at The Swedish Internet Days conference 2011 (in Robin Teigland‘s speech, with huge viewership nationwide)
  • Hosted 50+ digital events
  • Creating influential designs (Torley Linden visited Pop Art Lab prior to opening his PAL “cube” inspired sim – see last pic in above slides)
  • Met various RL music celebrities avatars praising our work
  • Held presentations in San Francisco, Dublin (Ireland), Lahti (Finland) plus many more in Denmark
  • Participated in various Linden Lab developer programs
  • Participated in VW Sense-making and Innovation: A strategic research project at Roskilde University, Copenhagen Business School and partners project 2008-2012
  • Helped translate the official Linden Lab viewer into Danish
  • Set new standards for rolling out compelling machinima contests/events creating music videos for RL artists
  • RL meetings with a variety of influential RL music tech developers incl. Alexander Ljung (co-founder of Soundcloud)
  • Fronted Destination Guide numerous times and as first ever Scandinavian company
  • Stayed in Destination Guide’s music section throughout 4-5 years
  • Maintained and grown a huge network of valuable RL connections from across the globe
  • Held RL seminar day with Henrik Bennetsen (Sirikata/Katalabs) on using virtual worlds in Danish public library sector
  • Build a close relationship to national Danish/Scandinavian copyright institutions KODA, Gramex and NCB
  • Build a close relationship to local music business and entrepreneurs
  • Build an army of music lovers in a community with no physical border including 600 members from Bangkok to Aruba!
  • Supervised and tech setup of mixed reality Metanomics TV-show held in Denmark 2010
  • Supervised and designed the 4 sim complex for MMIF Machinima Festival 2010
  • Received praise and kudos by Mark D. Kingdon (M Linden), ex Linden Lab CEO during above MMIF (see blogpost).

And finally… met thousands of creative open minded lovely people, heard their stories, talked about music, cultures, politics and life from countries all around the world.

Here’s what will happen:

  1. PAL will continue building up Facebook, Google+, Twitter etc. and focus entirely on posting news about music and shiny new tech in social media (games, virtual worlds included).
  2. PAL’s inworld group will continue though most updates will be linked to above networks.
  3. Inworld streaming will stop but will be used on special occasions via above networks.
  4. Sim will be gone in November (unless we receive unexpected interest from new partners).

Of specific note:

  • PAL’s Facebook Page (community) is no longer related to SL (subtitle removed)
  • PAL’s new Google+ and our Twitter will serve non Facebook users
  • PAL will focus on migrate cool stuff we learned in SL into above networks
  • PAL will continue its efforts in creating machinima/real music video contests and work with upcoming musicians and games
  • PAL will continue to make PR/management/social media setup for RL artists
  • PAL will continue observing the development of social gaming/virtual worlds
  • PAL will be available for specific customized tasks inworld whether it’s governance or design

The reason is:

  1. Streaming can in most cases be made using services like Spotify
  2. Mass adoption of virtual worlds lacks significant growth
  3. Barely no RL musicians or brands are willing to invest in SL
  4. Focus on Real Life and Real Life clients

We look forward to host inworld farewell activities and sincerely hope to keep up contact with all of you (we have a fairly new sim full of new designs! Navigation tip: Jump, explore, swim, explore!).

As a final note, I would like to assure that Pop Art Lab loves the Second Life platform, Linden Lab and the people who create the magic in there. During the years, there have been many issues in the way Linden Lab handle Second Life.

I want to point out it’s a wonderful platform they have created: especially the unique democratic tools that give everyone without specific skills a golden opportunity to create and visualize their culture, history and lives.

I sincerely hope all who have helped and still help create wonderful experiences inside virtual environments will flourish in the years to come.

Lastly, thanks so much to my team behind Pop Art Lab, because without you none of above would ever have happened!

Any questions or comments gladly received, please just shoot: clausuriza(at)gmail(dot)com, leave comment below or join the following networks for direct contact.




Heartfelt thanks,

Claus Uriza

Edited by Persia Bravin


Update from Pop Art Lab

Been some time since we blogged but here is few updates from what’s going on!

I recently made a presentation at CBS (Copenhagen Business School) about Market Creation in Virtual Worlds. The 30 min. clip is up at Roskilde University’s (RUC) blog. Go check it out!

Besides this the good guys at Roskilde University have just finished a 10 min. videodocumentary on their 2-3 years research of Pop Art Lab. The video (I’ve only previewed 1st take) should be out next week.

In other news our annual Machinima Expo is further delayed. It is quite a task getting music bands in and make their labels aware of the marketing possiblities of such music video contests. However a meeting with recordlabel is set next week and we hope to be able to launch video contest within coming months.

Regarding our sim changes in SL our new space is open and though groundlevel is still in development the musicstreaming runs up in the sky. Check out the new full sim and go explore all the new designs!

In other platforms Pop Art Lab expands. Especially our Facebook presence where we are up at 250+ PAL members. Go join this forum for latest news about tech, virtual worlds, gaming and ofcourse a lot of new musicvideos, album streams etc.

Lastly some great news occured last week. A new “world” entitled “Cloud Party” launched although in a very early beta stage (Hamlet have a good intro at his New World Notes blog).
I’ve tested and love it! Build entirely in WebGL and HTML5 it’s the kind of “world” I been waiting for. Runs fast and smoothe in browser with direct Facebook authentification, on mobile, no client and some very neat mesh possibilities. The “Build” mode is fairly easy and SL’ers will recognize many of the same functions as they already familiar with in SL. However texturing and other parts are quite tricky in the beginning.
Also I love seeing real names (use same as your Facebook account) instead of the messy SL names!
There have been some fire in the blogsphere whether the Facebook login is good or bad and ofcourse it’s bad if you’re not on Facebook (you can still login without FB but then lack powers like “Build” mode). Still I’d say it’s fine and opens up a lot of new opportunities for Virtual Worlds to go big!

During the years I’ve tested so many new “worlds” most have been poor SL clones but I have to say this one has what it takes to go big!
We are already investigating how and when we are able to get full region in Cloud Party. Expect more news on this here coming months!

Till then, thanks for the continueing support! We wish you a happy summer!

The Many Faces of Pop Art Lab – Update!

Once again we have been swamped in busy RL and blogposts been rare. Due to RL changes as I am moving into new locations PAL been forced to postpound most activities including new machinima musicvideo contests (as mentioned in previous post here). We are sorry for the delay!

When that’s said there’s a lot going on behind the virtual scenes.

First of all we have turned our lab into a RL musicpromotion agency!
Lately we made an arrangement with US million selling recording artist Edwin McCain to PR and support his upcoming Danish May tour including no less than 8 liveshows.
To feed all local RL media with promo, setting up interviews for the press with Edwin McCain and whatever else need to be done to get his tour rolling to the max, we teamed up with Danish marketing specialist.
This is also PAL’s transition into new markets as it is our very first totally non-game related PR campaign!
We love it so far and am pretty sure to continue this path and serve foreign artists promotional efforts and branding while touring Denmark.

Next we are still dealing with setting up machinima musicvideo contests. Two cool indiebands are in the pipeline and we hope the machinima community are ready for some tough schedules!
In case everything works out well we might need one musicvideo ready start of June and next one in August! We count on 1 month filming duration for both contests. Let’s see! Keep an eye here on blog or get your updates at our Facebook.

Also of note we have been contacted by professor who’s making research in virtual TV and I’ll be interviewed about our Pop Vox TV shows. Our audience and the Pop Vox team will be included in research as well.

Finally I’ll participate and do a speak at Copenhagen Business School Seminar “Innovation and Market Creation in and around Virtual Worlds” May 11.

To sum up it might look like PAL is pretty low-key on inworld activities and we are! Behind the scene we are not!

The many faces of Pop Art Lab luckily flourish into new directions and opportunities – Love it!

Pop Art Lab in 2012

As announced inworld, on our Facebook and so on; we are back and focused streaming music again regularly after a very busy real life in January! This is good timing because the record labels are usually quiet in Janauary too, and increase their releases from early February-we have CD’s raining on our RL desks! Just like in 2011, we promise to filter and stream the most refreshing, new and captivating new and established artists in 2012.

Claus has just returned from the MIDEM convention in Cannes, France, which is the world’s leading conference regarding the current state of the music industry (and their use of new shiny tech apps and platforms). Beside an action packed programme full of exciting panels and presentations he went to some very inspiring and interesting meetings with record label executives, artists, promo agencies and development teams.
This leads to our two main tasks at Pop Art Lab in 2012……….

Firstly, it’s about time to showcase the current quality and expertise in the art of machinima (videos recorded by using game engines). As in 2011 where we facilitated two crowd sourced music video contests (for the highly recommended indie bands ‘Giana Factory’ and ‘Emma Acs & The Inbred Family’) and we hope to kick-off the new 2012 contests soon. Some 4-5 artists/bands are on radar as the topic for this contest and we are just clearing scheduling, rights policies and contest limits. More news to follow very soon on this!

Secondly, we are looking into how to develop Pop Art Lab into a more stable platform. Second Life is a unique tool for creativity and prototyping but it still lacks stability and especially growth. The basic concept of Pop Art Lab is to enable people to come together in game simulated virtual environments and to share a social music experience. This has to become easier, more fun and accessible via iPad, iPhone, Android and direct Facebook login. Whether our lab will move towards a more closed ‘game’ like world, or if it will be part of some other platform is far too early to say. What we can say is that it’s time to evaluate and rethink our goals and find out ‘how and where’ and on which platform we are able to reach a wider audience.

No matter what happens, we will continue to operate in Second Life but our presence might be reduced-perhaps by downsizing our sim from a full Class 5 and by moving to a smaller plot of land. Time will tell. But as we move forward into 2012, the whole team at PAL are energised, determined and committed to expanding our services for new and old members alike. Happy New Year and hold on for a fast ride!

/Persia Bravin

(Pics taken at Midem, Cannes, France – January 28.-31. 2012)

Pop Art Lab in 2011 – A Brief Summary!

As the year of 2011 comes to an end, here is a timeline of Pop Art Lab highlights!

Back in Januray I had the pleasure to meet founder of SoundCloud Alexander Ljung as part of a 25 min. one-to-one meeting arranged during Midem tech/music conference in Cannes, France.

In April we hosted Danish indie noir band Giana Factory video contest and later on made Social Media measurement of entire campaign. The results was impressive! 1.2MM impressions/eyeballs.

We also presented our lab as a case study for educators as part of the biggest Virtual Worlds conference entitled Virtual Worlds Best Practice in Education (VWBPE).

We even managed to broadcast and had the pleasure to interview UK Deathline in our Pop Vox TV show.

In August we broadcast our Emma Acs video contest

Also of note PAL was featured on Spanish site Todas Musica y creatividad en redes sociales 3D: Pop Art Lab.

In September we hosted and celebrated our 3 year anniversary with a huge party and a lot of fun!

In October I was invited by TAG Strategic to participate in a very inspiring debate/evening held in Copenhagen and led by Ted Cohen. About 15 leading established as well as startup companies participated in the 3 hour long open forum.

We also had our lab presented as “research object” by Roskilde University (RUC) at AOIRs (Associations of Internet Researches) annual conference to be held in Seattle, Washington (full abstract)

In November we held our Pop Art Lab in Pictures photocontest which gathered some amazing photos!

More recently, here in December, I have had the pleasure of presenting PAL for one of the Majors (one of the big four record labels) and for one of the largest marketing companies in the USA.

And what more… oh yes we have been featured 3-4 times on front of site, launched this shiny new blog and hosted 3-5 Blackout DJ events.

2011 have seen our lab heading and zooming more into RL and we might have reduced our SL presence when it comes to events etc. but we definately love our virtual community.

The vision of Pop Art Lab have always been to lessen the gap between the real and virtual and I believe we’ll face and even bigger integration in coming years as virtual worlds and social MMOs gains more acceptance, attraction and adoption.

Merry Christmas everyone and to all who have supported, participated; its been a wonderful year, Thank You!
A big up for our core team Emily, Persia, Austin and Olivia.
/Claus Uriza

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