Marissa Nadler’s Dreamy Melodies Delight Chicago Audience

With Marissa Nadler’s ethereal, reverb-soaked vocals and delicate demeanor, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine the songwriter sprouting wings and flying away while playing her folky, vaguely psychedelic guitar melodies.

Between songs, Nadler is much more earthly, friendly, and unafraid to crack a joke at herself. “I’m not even drinking anymore!” she announced when she realized that she placed her capo on the wrong fret.

Saturday evening’s show at Schubas in Chicago followed a daytime set at Permanent Records as part of the second annual Record Store Day.

Nadler’s set consisted of material from both 2006 Kemado Records debut Mexican Summer and this year’s Little Hells. She opened with two solo numbers, finger-picked on 6-string and 12-string guitars, respectively, before being joined on stage by a second guitarist (tour dates featuring a full band should be announced in upcoming months).

The addition of the second instrument changed the tone of the performance; the accompanist took the lead parts and Nadler stayed away from the complex guitar arrangements.

Though the new guy, with his uncomfortable white-boy groove, may have been a little over the top, the harmonies that the two created together were spot-on, and the extra support meant that Nadler was able to focus more on her vocals, resulting in brilliant renditions of “Dying Breed” and “Rosary.”

– Jamie Ludwig

Marissa Nadler:

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