Critics toss Nadler into the freak-folk bin, along with Espers, Joanna Newsom and Faun Fables. But while her intricate finger-picking reflects a love for Brit folkies like Bert Jansch and John Renbourn, Nadler's overall aesthetic is steeped in dream pop and 4AD-styled goth. Her haunting croon sounds a lot like another mysterious beauty: Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star/Opal fame. It's really kind of mind-blowing to think Ballads of Living and Dying is the singer's debut. It's so fully formed.