Eight Gigs: The Joy Formidable

Fri., July 22, 9 p.m., Harlow’s Restaurant & Nightclub, $16-$59.50

The Joy Formidable went back to its Welsh homeland to build a studio in the hills of its youth and record its newest album, Hitch. What came out were highly catchy yet baleful songs that “musically and emotionally put them through the wringer,” according to their bio. Although the album was crafted in familiar surroundings, its emotional thread weaves itself between the urge to run away into the night, never to be found again, and an understated homesickness with a craving to belong. With energetic, punchy drums, melodious guitar and sweetly sour, emotive vocals, this is alt-rock at its moody, self-reflective best. 2708 J Street, www.thejoyformidable.com.