The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

3 concerts to catch in the D.C. area over the next several days

Pink Sweat$ is opening for Alicia Keys at the Theater at MGM National Harbor. (Josefine Cardoni)
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Pink Sweat$

David Bowden was born on Valentine’s Day, an astrological coincidence that seems to inform the music he makes under the moniker Pink Sweat$: old-school R&B that strips away the contemporary scene’s hip-hop infatuation and is perfect for dimmed lights and romantic nights. On his gentle debut album “Pink Planet,” Bowden focused on instant-classic melodies and heart-on-sleeve sentiments that were complemented by unassuming, in-the-room instrumentation. This year’s “Pink Moon” expanded the collaborator list, allowing him to juxtapose his style with 6lack and Blxst and duet with like-minded singers Kirby and Sabrina Claudio. Curiously, Bowden grew up in a religious household — his father is a minister, his mother a gospel singer — and he wasn’t allowed to listen to secular music until he was 17. But while he rejected the gospel music his parents favored, something must have seeped in: Listen to how he mixes the sacred and profane on “Spiritual,” about a lover with “holiness” in her eyes. Performing with Alicia Keys on Aug. 5 at 8 p.m. at the Theater at MGM National Harbor, 101 MGM National Ave., Oxon Hill, Md. mgmnationalharbor.com. $168-$778.

Kehlani

Before the release of “Blue Water Road,” Kehlani described the album as a destination in her mind. “I’m giving everyone access. It’s an emotional journey, a sexual journey, and a spiritual journey,” she wrote. “To me, the album is like a glass house. It’s light, transparent, and the sun is shining right through it.” For the 27-year-old singer-songwriter, sunlight is the best disinfectant on an album that might be both her lightest and deepest yet. Kehlani’s malleable, smoky voice — whether a croon or a half-rapped patter — is a warm complement to woozy, dreamy grooves with touches of molasses-thick low-end and hip-hop scintillation. Flipping Slick Rick and Soul II Soul samples keeps the album grounded, while dueting with the likes of Justin Bieber, Syd and Jessie Reyez lets Kehlani explore facets of the relationship dramas in her songs. Aug. 7 at 8 p.m. at the Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. theanthemdc.com. Sold out.

Leon Bridges

Across three albums, Leon Bridges has sounded like a perfectly coifed soul man gradually traveling through time, dabbling in retro stylings influenced by Sam Cooke and Otis Redding before embracing everything from Marvin Gaye to D’Angelo, with a fair share of disco diversions. On last year’s “Gold-Diggers Sound,” Bridges sounds as modern as ever but with the well-practiced precision of his previous music. Named after Gold-Diggers, the East Hollywood bar-hotel-recording studio where a residency grew into actual residence during the writing and recording of the album, “Gold-Diggers Sound” sees Bridges collaborate with the likes of Robert Glasper and Terrace Martin, multi-hyphenates at the equilibrium point of jazz and hip-hop. Particularly poignant is the 808s and heartbreak of “Sweeter,” a collaboration with Martin released in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by the police. “Hoping for a life more sweeter, instead I’m just a story repeating,” a weary Bridges sings. “I wish I had another day, but it’s just another day.” Aug. 10 at 8 p.m. at the Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. theanthemdc.com. $65.

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