Mixing country and punk is no easy task, but Sarah Shook & the Disarmers are going for it anyway. With honest, stripped-down lyrics and a musical style that refuses to settle for typical tropes, the group have emerged as a pioneering alt-country act. Hailing from the roots rock and country scene in North Carolina, Sarah Shook’s distinctive vocals and songwriting have captivated the alt- and outlaw country scene. The band formed in late 2014 as a recording project and quickly made waves with their 2015 LP, Sidelong. After a two-year delay due to record label issues, the band introduced more rock, pop, and post-punk influences to their sound when they released Nightroamer on the Thirty Tigers label in February 2022. But don’t worry: Tracks such as “No Mistakes” also show off the band’s ability to return to their roots when they want to. Shook also came out as nonbinary in 2020, and Nightroamer continues the queer themes throughout their work with more feelings of liberation, displaying a new level of comfort in themselves and their music. Ultimately, Sarah Shook & the Disarmers defy all pigeonholes. There’s glimpses of Elliott Smith, Hank Williams, Dwight Yoakam, Sex Pistols, and even Belle and Sebastian throughout the album, all wrapped in frank discussions of the messy lives we all live. Sarah Shook & the Disarmers play at 8 p.m on Nov. 13 at DC9 in Northwest. dc9.club. $15.
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