On its first two albums, like countless contemporaries in the early-’90s British shoegazing scene, Slowdive submerged simple pop songs in layer upon layer of swirling, effects-laden instrumentation. The spare compositions on the band’s third album, 1995’s Pygmalion, in startling contrast, are punctuated by extended periods of silence, hesitant melodies picked out on a solitary acoustic guitar, and incomprehensible, ghostly voices. That the album is a masterwork of stark, fragile beauty didn’t stop Slowdive’s label, Creation (once a haven for innovative outcasts, but best known today as the British home of trad-rock simpletons Oasis), from dropping the band, which subsequently lost two longtime members and dissolved. Songwriting vocalist-guitarist Neil Halstead, vocalist-bassist Rachel Goswell, and drummer Ian McCutcheon, however, continued to work together, rechristened their band Mojave 3 (pictured), and released the wholly surprising Ask Me Tomorrow on venerable superindie 4AD. Laced with slide guitar, piano, and cello, the album’s pleasantly low-key, country-tinged songs recall the music fellow 4AD-er Kendra Smith made in the ’80s with her Paisley Underground band Opal. Mojave 3’s fascination with American country- and folk-rock didn’t end with one album: Its second, 1998’s Out of Tune, finds the band delving even deeper into the history of the sound. Evoking the Flying Burrito Brothers, the Byrds, and Bob Dylan, the elegant disc, while hardly groundbreaking, nonetheless showcases Halstead’s considerable songwriting talent. Whether his future holds another Pygmalion may be divined when Mojave 3 opens for Gomez at 9 p.m. Saturday, April 10, at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $10. (202) 393-0930. (Leonard Roberge)