Standout Track: No. 6, “Mount Hope,” in which the band sets aside its amps for a twitchy minute-and-a-half gothic-folk jam that owes more to Tom Waits than Black Flag. “My friend Dan keeps coming by/Somehow he’s still alive/This has got to work out somehow,” sings guitarist Chris Taylor.

Musical Motivation: A while back the 29-year-old Taylor—a former member of Virginia punk band PG.99 now residing in Sterling—moved to Richmond, hoping to help a close friend overcome a substance-abuse problem. It didn’t go well: His friend couldn’t clean up, and Taylor wound up cloistered in his own house. “He would come over, and to be with him was to ruin your day, so I wouldn’t answer the door,” he says. “But he just kept coming over, and that’s when I wrote that portion of the song.” Taylor advises against a close reading of the lyrics, though. “The whole idea of it is to make the lyrics—as hokey as they are—simple enough that they might apply to somebody else’s life in some other regard.”

DIY or Pie: Away from the band, Taylor does odd jobs at Mom’s Apple Pie Company, a business owned by his girlfriend’s parents. How are the pies? “It’s not hokey Americana; it’s actually her dad’s recipe,” says Taylor. “He’s one of my heroes—he’s this really smart guy who did a lot of laboratory testing on LSD in the ’70s. He’s more like a chemist than a baker. I mean, nobody knows why they love everything here so much; he just experimented until he found the best recipe. He’s awesome. Short answer: Everything here is good.”

Pygmy Lush plays St. Stephen’s Church on Saturday, Oct. 4.

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