"I suppose I have always gravitated towards the dark and melancholy, aesthetically speaking, in both music and fine art," painter/singer-songwriter Marissa Nadler said in a 2010 interview, throwing an early front-runner into the Understatement of the Century contest. Boston-based Nadler specializes in "dream folk slowcore" that speaks of human misery — depression, illness, addiction, death, etc. — on illuminating and intimate levels. While her work primarily draws from the personal and philosophical, she could easily take inspiration from her professional life, too: Nadler's one-time label Kemado Records liked her enough to name an imprint after one of her songs ("Mexican Summer") yet ended up dropping her, creating serious acrimony between the two parties. The musician upended that negative with a 2011 Kickstarter campaign that resulted in the launch of Box of Cedar Records. 2012's The Sister, Nadler's sixth record overall, marks her second release on the label.