On his confessional 2018 album “Pieces of a Man,” Mick Jenkins nimbly shifts between spitting rhymes about the religious upbringing that shaped his life and cooing silky melodies about self-motivation and authenticity. The album’s title is taken from the 1971 album of the cosmic soul poet Gil Scott-Heron; Jenkins’s first track is a spoken-word treatise titled “Heron Flow” that serves as a sermonized mission statement for the songs that follow. Fittingly, Jenkins will preach his message at one of the District’s hybridized religious spaces/concert venues.
Jan. 22 at 8 p.m. at the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue. $22-$25.
When it comes to rock-and-roll, everything old will eventually be new again. So, if you fed a scrappy 21st-century bar band a steady diet of old Ramones albums, you might get something like the Philadelphia punk trio Dark Thoughts. The band’s latest effort, “At Work,” barrels through 12 tracks in 19 minutes, bursting at the seams with perpetual-motion power chords, incisive melodies and forlorn lyrics about the struggles of trying to get by in this world.
Jan. 22 at 9 p.m. at Comet Ping Pong. $10.
If 2018 reminded us of anything, it’s that women are making the most magnetic and affecting indie rock — dismiss it as “sad-girl music” at your own peril. Take under-the-radar Pennsylvania singer-songwriter Kiley Lotz, who performs under the moniker Petal. Her songs drip with searching lyrics, all plainly spoken in beautiful verses that might remind you of such ’90s alt-leaning singers as Aimee Mann. Lotz puts herself under the microscope on 2018’s “Magic Gone,” an album of tenderly spare moments where she finds serenity while mining the depths of her most heart-wrenching moments.
Jan. 23 at 8 p.m. at Songbyrd. $15-$18.
On her 2015 self-titled debut, Natalie Prass’s hushed vocals wafted around triumphant jazzy horns with brief detours into more soulful sounds, but on her latest album, “The Future and the Past,” the Richmond-based singer dives deeper into even groovier contours. Her songs are buffed up with thick and heavy bass lines that wouldn’t feel out of place on the ’90s R&B charts. Prass is at her most potent when her choruses soar with the support of her backing vocalists, conjuring the powerful sound of love triumphing over dread.
Jan. 24 at 8 p.m. at the Anthem. Sold out.