Here’s a little thought-bubble that can be as obvious or profound as you need it to be: We spend our entire lives preparing for the present moment.

It’s an idea that quietly animates Andy Aylward’s “Sometimes Rain,” a debut album filled with erudite soft-rock songs, some of which the 28-year-old has been working on for eight years. “I enjoy having something I sat with for a long time,” Aylward says. “It represents years and years of living, and it’s always in my back pocket.”

These songs originated in different times, different places. Aylward grew up in the District admiring the songcraft of Benjy Ferree, John Davis and Mary Timony; then he moved to Charlottesville for college; then he returned home before catching a bus to Maine to join a clangy indie band called Coke Weed; then he boomeranged back to Washington once more before finally relocating to New York. He’s been refining his songs all the while, reducing them to their respective essences. “You have less and less,” Aylward says, “until you have just what you need.”

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Listen carefully and you should still be able to sense the highs and lows of his young adulthood, even though everything is being sung in breezy deadpan, smoothed over by time. “Each song is a feeling — how I felt when I was writing that song,” Aylward says. “But I think the best songs can show you a feeling without telling you what the feeling is.”

Show: Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. at the Pocket at 7 Drum City, 1508 North Capitol St. NW. 7drumcity.com. $10.

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