Call for Book Reviewers and Bloggers

cover art



(Broken Spine; US: 30 Oct 2012; UK: 30 Oct 2012)

There’s been a lot of excited talk on the fuzz and buzz grapevine about the latest album from prolific drone/shoegaze metal two-piece Nadja. Joining the core duo of Aidan Baker and Leah Buckareff on Dagdrøm is Jesus Lizard drummer Mac McNeilly, and speculation has been rife that Nadja has decided to take a bold new tack and start rockin’ instead of rollin’.

That’s somewhat accurate. Dagdrøm is certainly more frenetic and animated than anything Nadja has produced in the recent past. It’s less saturated in swampy noise (to a degree), although repetition is still the band’s mainstay—heaving riffs overlay heaving riffs in a familiar dirge-like lattice. Still, Dagdrøm sounds positively energetic in parts, with McNeilly’s drumming providing more power and impetus in the engine house, propelling Dagdrøm‘s four lengthy drones forward at a heftier pace. New territory is also explored. The bass has more upfront presence, a post-punk throb underscores “Space Time and Absence” and “One Sense Alone”, and Nadja utilize icier, less clotted riffing to part the clouds or lift the haze, on occasion.

Dagdrøm is definitely Nadja’s most luminescent album, but it’s not a radical change in direction. Much of it is par for the droning and sludgy course, which is not a bad thing, but those moments of clarity offer a more vivid appreciation of the underlying structure of Nadja’s arrangements. Here’s to further sonic adventuring.


Craig Hayes is based in Aotearoa New Zealand, and he is a contributing editor and columnist at PopMatters. Alongside his reviews and feature articles, Craig's monthly column, Ragnarök, traverses the metal spectrum. He is the co-author of PopMatters' regular metal round-up, Mixtarum Metallum, contributes to radio shows and numerous other sites, and he favours music that clangs, bangs, crashes, or drones. Craig can be found losing followers daily on twitter @sixnoises.

Nadja - Dagdrøm
Related Articles
2 Nov 2010
Here’s to hoping Nadja pull a Radiohead and emerge jazzily, victoriously; sounding less like a two-hour Aztec sacrifice and more like Agalloch meets Orthodox, while keeping close that stylish, Canadian Aidan Baker dark flair.
13 May 2009
It's normally a horribly overdone gimmick, but the Toronto duo manages to put their own unique twist on the covers album.
12 Apr 2007
On their second album for Alien8, this Toronto doom metal duo craft an abstract opus that's both hot and heavy.
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Win a 15-CD Pack of Brazilian Music CDs from Six Degrees Records! in PopMatters Contests on LockerDome

© 1999-2014 All rights reserved.™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.