Where her initial debut Chelsea Girl was a pop and more uplifting adventure through the sunken vocals, The Marble Index is anxiety and winds of change on a path straight through Nico’s soul.
The skin which was once like uncracked porcelain becomes a shattered and broken mess that through pale mausoleum floors are a staple in sound for Nico. Using a prelude as the first track for The Marble Index, this striking beauty illustrates a curse and explores the ugliness attached to becoming picturesque.
Moments of anguish and utter dissonance are present on The Marble Index and allow Nico to flow almost angelically through the crypt. Introducing herself with the track “Lawns Of Dawn,” the spacious initial moments are harrowing. Her vocals which cut through the mesmerizing stances of sound transition to showcase a dichotomy within The Marble Index.
Specifically with “Facing The Wind” where the entirety of the record has this tension that becomes never-ending. Random and sporadic noises of minor chords which are colder than the Earth’s poles create two points that never met.
At one side stands Nico drenched with darkened hair and black attire with instrumentals to match. At the other are her previous works which create and orchestrate at one point a revitalization of summer warmth against the skin.
The sun for The Marble Index is burned out and in the replacement follows boiling points of sound. The production handled by John Cale and Frazier Mohawk tells more tales of betrayal and utter pain beyond Nico’s performance.
The final track in particular, “Evening Of Light” is the beating of the door, this oppressing weight holding over the audience like The Pit and the Pendulum. Knowing that death is nearby and is the final absolute, Nico delivers a vocal performance that is chilling.
Tied in with her delivery is this instrumental that ramps up in both tempo and levels of additive noise where eventually the track erupts in this paranoid and freezing moment. Paralyzed by tension and fear, the emotions become Nico’s plaything while strings cut like razors against the audience.
Nico describes, “In the morning of my winter when my eyes are still asleep. In the morning of my winter when my eyes are still asleep. A dragonfly lady in a coat of snow, I’ll send to kiss your heart for me.” As the bass begins to surround the audience and overpower them, Nico pushes on. She illustrates, “Midnight winds are landing at the end of time, midnight winds are landing at the end of time… The peasants’’ hands are heavy in the evening of light. The peasants’ hands are heavy in the evening of light.”
Without faltering, Nico is once again a captivating passion for a unique sound but this time reorganizes herself as more of a tragic figure than before. Long gone are these days where the sunlight touches the audience, and in its place is the cold hand of an unshakable demise.