Sometimes the best thing that a band can do is break up. Or at least reimagine itself. That's certainly the case with Nethers, a local five-piece that released its startlingly beautiful CD "In Fields We Will Lie" (Box Theory Records, $12.99) last month and performs Monday at Galaxy Hut.
Just a year ago, four of the band's five members were in the now-defunct Carlsonics, a high-energy, indie pop band that developed a loyal following on the D.C. scene. Listening to this debut, it's clear the new direction involves much more than a name change. The Carlsonics' aggressive, edgy sound has been supplanted by a sort of serene, psychedelic beauty that is as entrancing as it unexpected.
Lead singer Nikki West boasts not just a fabulous rock-and-roll name, but an icy cool voice that hints at Nico in her Velvet Underground prime or the haunting delivery of a Kate Bush or Lida Husik. It's a forlorn approach that lends itself perfectly to the band's restrained, futuristic folk and spacey country style. The band's name, too, is evocative, but that's more a matter of happenstance. Nethers is the tiny Madison County town where the group recorded its new CD. "Luckily we didn't record this in Waynesboro or Warrenton," says drummer Mike Scutari.
Nethers plays Monday at 9:45 p.m. Galaxy Hut, 2711 Wilson Blvd., Arlington. $5. 703-525-8646. www.galaxyhut.com.