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 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!

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)

Secret Landmarks for PAL Photo Contest

Here is some secret LMs at Pop At Lab for our ongoing photo contest!

At first, it might only seem we have one level at the PAL sim-but in fact there’s a lot more.

If you need inspiration for the photo contest-check out these more secret LMs below.

Happy shooting!!

Sky Stage:


Giana Factory Stage:

Trippy Place:

Red Gramophone:

PAL Restaurant:

PAL TV Studio:

Pop Art Lab 3 years Anniversary!!!


Pop Art Lab 3 year Anniversary!

September 3. – 12:00-06:00pm SLT/PDT – 21:00-03:00 CET
Black Celebration: Blackout DJ B-Day Special

Suddenly we are 3 and want to bang the drums!!! We have hosted endless (50-70) events and seen SL change, grow but we still here! We have had up at 75.000 visitors. We have streamed more than 1750 full lenght albums! We have been mentioned in LA Times and endless other (more…)

Emma Acs Machinima Musicvideo Winner!

Here is the winning musicvideo as announced inworld Friday night.
Pop Art Lab wants to thank all participants. Without you this contest wouldn’t have been possible. Also warm regards and thanks to Emma Acs and her manager for their support.
For full credit list please go to event programme.

Congratulations to the winner Marc Cuppens (Nederland) who recieved the winning prize L$50.000.

Let’s watch the video one more time!

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