There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
When Jeremy Enigk, then the lead singer of indie-rock/emo band Sunny Day Real Estate, sent an e-mail to fans in 1994 to say that he’d let Jesus into his life, some expected his music to take a more serene turn. Sunny Day broke up for the first time shortly after, and Enigk went on to make his solo debut in 1996 with the orchestral Return of the Frog Queen. But his music retained an anxious undercurrent, and his cracked voice still spoke of pain, even through the reunion and second dissolution of his original band. The mellow transformation has finally happened, sort of, on his second solo album, World Waits. The new music has a resigned calm at its core, with stately piano, slow tempos, uplifting melodies, and guitars that resonate in reverb worthy of cathedrals. But for Enigk, the spiritual path isn’t about passive acceptance. His politically tinged lyrics remain restless, and his singing—never better, as he’s ditched the cracked upper register for a pure tenor—has doubt in every syllable. Rather than reflecting another stage in his religious development, World Waits could just be the sound of a man growing up. In any event, there’s something here for David Gray fans as well as second-generation emo kids. The Hard Tomorrows and Cedars open at the Rock and Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. $15-$18. (202) 388-7625. (Mark Richardson)