Marissa Nadler has a lovely voice and she writes songs that almost induce a dream state--or would if Nadler's demeanor were not so down to earth. It isn't surprising her press release calls her music "dream folk." And as much as labels and sub-genres are just marketing , this description of Nadler holds some water at least.
You can start pulling vocal or stylistic comparisons out of a hat for Nadler if you have to. There is an ethereal quality that calls to mind Hope Sandoval. Likewise there is the oddball other-worldliness that might make some think, "Kate Bush" (but certainly not ALL of the eras of Bush's career). Even one of the early, pre-dress-up-like- pirates, Heart albums spring to mind (Dog And Butterfly). One thing you won't think, you won't entertain, is that Nadler is a run of the mill folksinger.
It is hard to imagine her airy vocals "polluted" by any non acoustic instrument. You want nothing to drown them. Not to sound like a hippie but this is music of clean skies and magic, not wires and diodes (and yes they Faces on Film did bring out an electric and accompanied and it sounded fine). This is totally wrong. It isn't fact. You just want to hear Nadler. And the introduction of a cello certainly added to the set. The added instrumentation wasn't abused either. They felt no need to use it on every single song.
Her voice is vulnerable and strong in the same instance and it is what soars in the music. The word "otherworldly" comes to mind again but this is not True Blood-annoying-fairy-otherworldly.
Nadler said, from the stage, that the audience was a great one--and that not all were. Some people do not know how to go see a band with understated, soft music. Often the bands are too polite to say it but I am not; Shut the fuck up. No one wants to hear you, not even the dimwits you came with. Go out into the street to talk about the Cubs game.
Faces On Film (aka Mike Fiore) opened the show at Schubas and is a fine songwriter. Timber Timbre were the headliner.