Dec. 5 | The Hamilton | $16
If you missed the opportunity to see Anaïs Mitchell when she toured with Bon Iver this summer, now is your chance. The singer-songwriter is known for blending earthy acoustics with vocals that are both sprightly and soulful. Mitchell has built up an impressive repertoire of songs that tell tales. She garnered attention with her 2010 album “Hadestown,” which morphs the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice into an acoustic folk opera. In her most recent album, “Young Man in America,” released this year, each song has a distinct narrative that meditates powerfully on the themes of family and loss.
Score: The rare opportunity to see a talented, up-and-coming folk artist headline her own show.
Bore: Her meaningful lyrics may not resonate with first-time listeners.
Grace Potter and The Nocturnals
Dec. 6 to 9 | 9:30 Club | from $40
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals began as a self-produced independent band and over the years has crafted albums that fuse blues, folk and alternative rock genres. Multi-instrumentalist Potter has been lauded for her commanding vocals and her energetic stage presence, which will likely draw huge crowds for all four of the band’s District shows. The group’s most recent album, “The Lion the Beast the Beat,” was praised for diving into the realm of experimental music, introducing electronics into their mix.
Score: The band blends so many different types of rock music that there won’t be a dull moment.
Bore: Rock purists may find the liberties this group takes with their music grating.
Dec. 14 | 9:30 Club | $20
Despite their name, Of Montreal is an American rock band with clear British influences, including The Beatles and David Bowie. The band’s psychedelic sounds mesh conventional genres such as indie pop and classic rock with old-school sounds drawn from funk, afrobeat and vaudeville. Upbeat, bouncy tunes are juxtaposed with often dark and existential lyrics, making for a captivating listening experience.
Score: The group sits on the fringe of contemporary pop-rock, making them familiar yet new.
Bore: Of Montreal’s similarities to the groups that have inspired them may seem citational to some.