Nicole Marxen Dances Under the Red Moonlight of Her Wounds in the Giallo-Tinged Video for “Thorns”

like a rabid animal

my body betrays itself

these dormant wounds


Nicole Marxen, a singer-songwriter and visual artist from Dallas, TX, invites us into a world both perilous and poignant with her upcoming album, Thorns. This is music as an exploration of a landscape where danger lurks at every turn.

Reuniting with producer Alex Bhore (Halo Infinite Multiplayer, Meow Wolf Grapevine), Marxen dives into themes that span dreams and disorders, set against the backdrop of a disintegrating and grasping patriarchy. The collaboration promises a hauntingly intimate experience, as Marxen’s voice becomes a conduit for confessions that feel both personal and universal.

Thorns delves deep into Marxen’s personal battles with Body Focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRBs), a little-known impulse disorder where individuals unconsciously harm their own bodies. These actions, often rooted in trauma, serve as a desperate attempt to self-regulate amidst chaos. Marxen sees these acts as a form of self-sabotage, a poignant reflection of the inner turmoil that many face but few discuss.

“It was important for me to show up to this material imperfectly,” Marxen says. “As a songwriter, I can put a lot of pressure on myself, often feeling like I have to say something profound or reach a kind of resolve. I didn’t want to pretend to have answers here, but rather notice what was coming up for me during each song’s moment in time.”

Through her music, Marxen shares her struggles and transforms them into a sonic landscape where every note and lyric is a step through a thorny path. The album is both a confession and a confrontation, a delicate dance between vulnerability and strength. Thorns‘ lyrics explore the pain of internal struggles, symbolized by thorns buried deep within. The repeated self-betrayal and dormant wounds evoke a relentless cycle of suffering. The lyrics convey the battle against compulsions, the fleeting nature of pleasure, and the ever-present, metallic numbness that underscores the anguish.

The video paints a surreal portrait of Marxen, dancing through liminal spaces—those in-between realms where reality blurs and the extraordinary peeks through. She moves with an eerie grace, her presence both haunting and ethereal. In the foreground, a dagger gleams, a stark reminder that our most formidable adversary often lies within. This blade, like the Ace of Swords card in tarot, is a symbol of the inner battles we all fight, the personal demons we must face to find our way back to the light with renewed spirit and clarity. Marxen’s dance becomes a ritual, a cathartic movement through the shadows.

In Marxen’s world, the dance with danger is not one to be feared but embraced, for it is through this dance that we learn to navigate our own paths with newfound understanding and grace. Thorns is an invitation to step into the unknown, to confront the darkness, and to find the light that lies beyond.

“Channeling themes of cycles and compulsion, ‘Thorns’ is a liminal, giallo-tinged portrait about the transformation that arises in reuniting with what we’ve pushed into the dark,” says director Judd Myers.

Watch the video for “Thorns” below:

Nicole Marxen, formerly of Midnight Opera, has toured the U.S., opening for William Basinski, Cold Cave, and Marissa Nadler. Her performances are ethereal experiences, drawing audiences into her unique blend of beauty and terror. Now, with her new album Thorns, she explores deep personal struggles and societal decay, turning her music into a haunting exploration of the human condition.

Thorns comes out on August 9th. Pre-order here.

Follow Nicole Marxen:

Alice Teeple

Alice Teeple is a photographer, multidisciplinary artist, and writer. She is not in Tin Machine.

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