We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Almost exactly one year ago, Big Hush celebrated the release of its Wholes EP with a house show at the Babe CityRecords venue. This year, the group has moved to Black Cat’s Backstage to welcome the arrival of another cassette EP, Who’s Smoking Your Spirit?, on DZ Tapes. Bigger stages aren’t reached without work, and the D.C.-based quartet has grown from a group reliant on a noisy aesthetic to one that uses it to flesh out strong songwriting. Now its mournful, sighing melodies sink deep as they play with surf and post-rock rhythms, while shoegaze feels more and more limited as a descriptor with every release. The way we talk about Big Hush should evolve as the band does. The same can be said for Baltimore’s Wildhoney, whose ’80s pop inflections perfectly complement Big Hush’s early-’90s indie lens. Its recently released Your Face Sideways EP bounces joyfully amidst shimmering drones and feedback. As both bands start to flourish, they continue to show listeners that focusing only on the noise misses the point. Big Hush performs with Wildhoney and Cigarette at 7:30 p.m. at the Black Cat Backstage, 1811 14th St. NW. $10–$12. (202) 667-4490. blackcatdc.com.