We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

When you think of John Davis‘ post-Q and Not U aesthetic, you think sweet and sunshiny. The newest Title Tracks album, In Blank, still draws on Davis’ love of power-pop, but it colors it in a darker shade. For the most part, songs are quick, downcast, and grimy (thanks to a lovely mono mix)—-and, finally, a fit for Davis’ angsty themes. In his review in tomorrow’s City Paper, Ben Westhoff writes:

it’s inhabited by paranoid, discontented souls, stuck in their own heads and in malignant relationships. “Time is the sound of a torn page/Everything goes away/You may have a handle on your quiet rage/ But everything goes away,” begins opener “Shaking Hands,” and things get bleaker from there. Davis’ characters fight personal demons and admit to dangerous co-dependencies; “Mine is the kind of knife/That won’t cut you free,” he sings on “Light Sleepers.” Hardly a track passes without dark moments, with the possible exception of “I Can’t Hide,” a cover of a romantic Flamin’ Groovies’ song originally called “Second Cousin.” (Make what you will of that.)

Of course, it’s not all tortured. Here’s one of the peppier tracks, “All Tricks.”


Title Tracks plays tonight with Foul Swoops at 9 p.m. at the Black Cat. $10.