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For much of this decade, Sampha was the person producers and musicians called when their songs needed a healthy portion of soul. The British singer-songwriter voiced the electronic experiments of SBTRKT and gave Drake’s “Too Much” a softer side. In 2016, he’s also stepping out of the featured roles and into a starring one. As he prepares to release his debut album, Process, he has released a pair of songs that suggest he’ll be just fine in the spotlight, “Timmy’s Prayer” and “Blood on Me.” The former is a slow-burning ballad about loss and hope that sees Sampha at his most vulnerable (“My vital organs are beating through, my ribcage opened, my heart ballooned”), while the latter is urgent and paranoid (“I swear they smell the blood on me, I hear them coming for me”). Read more >>> Sampha performs with Kelsey Lu at 7 p.m. at U Street Music Hall, 1115 U St. NW. $20. (202) 588-1889. ustreetmusichall.com. (Chris Kelly)


Tonight Oyamel hosts a kickoff party for its annual Day of the Dead festival that runs from today through Nov. 6. Visit between 6 and 9 p.m. tonight for food, drink, and festivities (like face painting and live music) dedicated to Mexican musician Juan Gabriel. An all-inclusive ticket costs $49. Oyamel, 401 7th St. NW, (202) 628-1005, oyamel.com. (Laura Hayes)


Kennedy Center composer-in-residence Mason Bates begins another season of his KC Jukebox series with “Mercury Soul,” described as a classical rave featuring electronic sets from Bates as well as more traditional string compositions from violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain. 7:30 p.m. at 2700 F St. NW. $20.

Australian rock band Pond takes the stage at Rock & Roll Hotel with explosive Texas ensemble Machete Western. 8 p.m. at 1353 H St. NE. $15.

The Black Cat welcomes synth-pop band Trails and Ways for a show with opening act Yum., an indie rock band out of Northern Virginia. 7:30 p.m. at 1811 14th St. NW. $12.

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