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The gothic, poetic rock of Mount Moriah captures the complicated relationship Southerners have with their history. On its self-titled debut, the North Carolina band reckons with what it’s like to worship in a church that’s not made for you. The follow-up, Miracle Temple, was its unceremonious exile. How to Dance, the group’s latest effort, reflects on a path to a brighter future. Its songs are tight and crisp, with a lightness that Mount Moriah hasn’t yet shown. The record sleeve dedicates How to Dance to “anyone who has ever felt the cold shadows of oppression or discrimination; to the misfits, the outcasts, the loners, the misunderstood, the underdogs” and continues on to activists, artists, and animals. Lead singer Heather McEntire, who used her Dolly Parton-meets-rock ’n’ roll vocals to help us understand her pain so well, now uses her power to unite all those who might feel out of place. Opening act Skylar Gudasz has been a local favorite in North Carolina and is poised to break out with her masterful debut record, Oleander. From contemplative folk to road trip rock, the playful confidence she showcases is infectious. Mount Moriah performs with Skylar Gudasz at 9 p.m. at Rock & Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. $12–$14. (202) 388-7625. rockandrollhoteldc.com.