Black Girls

When: Wed., April 9, 9 p.m. 2014

Great art often walks a tightrope between idiosyncratic oddness and relatable touchstones. That’s not saying Black Girls are great art, but they’re up there on the tightrope. And leading the way is singer/guitarist Drew Gillihan, whose glitter-soul coo vacillates from a Bowie-esque strut on the jazz-swing “Broadway” to gritty swamp stomp on the bluesy ode to “South Carolina” to pompadoured crooner on the Latin-surf of “St. Simons.” Those three initial cuts off Black Girls’ 2012 second album, Hell Dragon, demonstrate both the band’s range and Gillihan’s spotlight-loving versatility. Make no mistake, Black Girls are tight and capable, but Gillihan’s boundless confidence sells their sound, even when his singing borders on schmaltz, as on the disco-soul number “Lover.” The track’s off last month’s third album, Claire Sinclaire, which consolidates the jazzy-glam-soul strengths of their first two discs and adds a few new twists (grungy Hollywood rocker “Banging LA,” the ’60s psych-pop of “Buyin’ Time”). The album’s feels moodier and more downbeat than earlier efforts, particularly on the wistful folk-soul ballad “Kaleidoscope.” It’s not the type of thing you’d expect to hear them play live, except perhaps as a show closer, but it’s evidence of Black Girls’ deepening craft. —Chris Parker NEXT WEDNESDAY

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