If her delicately plucked guitar arrangements don’t grab you, Marissa Nadler’s ethereal voice should lure you toward one of the finest folk catalogues of the past two decades. The Boston songwriter’s recordings — haunting, heart-rending and ghostly — have earned her a crossover audience that includes folkies, goths and metalheads. With a creeping existential dread pervading every crevice of her songs, Nadler’s chilling voice still has a certain magnetism that allows her to transport her tales of forlorn love directly down your spine. Dec. 7 at 8 p.m. at Songbyrd. $15.
If their achingly earnest song titles weren’t enough of a hint — “The Heart is a Muscle” and “The Deepest Sighs, the Frankest Shadows” among them — Gang of Youths is a band that wears its heart on its sleeve. The Australian quintet’s breakout album, “Go Farther In Lightness,” launched the band to stardom in its native land, with vocalist David Le’aupepe waxing poetic about spiritual awakenings over the multi-guitar assault of melodies that uplift his existential sagas. It’s an approach that might remind listeners of classic-rock bands of yore, or maybe younger, nostalgia-leaning groups such as the Gaslight Anthem and the War on Drugs. Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. at the 9:30 Club. $20.
It’s fitting that this trippy Filipino troubadour titled one of his albums “Shapeshifter.” His darts through chillwave, dream pop and psychedelic-crust-punk resist any sort of easy musical categorization. The 28-year-old musician, born Idris Vicuña, expounds on vivid tales of his frenetic life in Manila using sparse beats, which give way so his hazy yelps can puncture through. While his sounds are sometimes elusive — including two recently released tracks in Tagalog — what’s clear from his barked English is that he’s unpacking the anxiety of growing up and raising a family in the wake of rising fascism in the Philippines. Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. at U Street Music Hall. $15.
It’s easy for marquee artists to rest on their laurels and play the hits, but that probably wouldn’t be much fun for Charles Lloyd and Lucinda Williams. Lloyd, the restless jazz virtuoso, continues to pour albums out at a consistent clip after more than five decades. Meanwhile, 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of Williams’s iconic entry into the Americana songbook, “Car Wheels on a Gravel Road” — and surely, the songstress could coast at shows, playing that album in its entirety. Instead, the two are on the road together, performing selections from their refreshing new collaborative album, “Vanished Gardens,” which features groovier reimaginings of Williams’s richly drawled tunes of turmoil and winding concoctions of known American songbook staples. Dec. 12 at 8 p.m. at the Coolidge Auditorium in the Library of Congress. Preregistration sold out, but free tickets may be available in the standby line.