Pop singer Upsahl says things as they are from the opening moments of her blunt 2021 album “Lady Jesus.” The first track — which begins with “you’re a d--------, I can prove that” — is an indictment of a cheating ex, with low-key strumming that grows into a bass-filled, classic pop production. “Notorious” marks a bravado-filled shift from the breakup anthems that precede it: Slick production is matched with such boastful lyrics as, “Cut throat, no soul, take your breath away.” The bass is front and center again on the next song, “IDFWFEELINGS.” Upsahl’s vocals are husky and low as she, exasperated, pushes aside her feelings. You get the sense she isn’t trying to convince listeners that she’s done caring — she’s trying to convince herself. The song the project is named for closes the album out, a belated thesis statement about moving on after heartbreak. Reincarnation is the point here — if you couldn’t guess that with Jesus in the title. “Look at me now, it’s the second coming, baby, watch out,” Upsahl sings. Jan. 14 at 8 p.m. at Union Stage, 740 Water St. SW. $15-$30.

The Beths

The Beths are a mostly indie rock, kind-of-pop band from Auckland, New Zealand, that serves up fun. Its debut album “Future Me Hates Me” was released in 2018 and is filled with dynamic drums and lyrics that are perfect to loudly sing along with, like “Oh, cause you, you wouldn’t like me / if you saw what was inside me,” on “You Wouldn’t Like Me.” Elizabeth Stokes’s lead vocals are often supported by other members singing backup, making the album feel fuller. The group’s most recent album, “Jump Rope Gazers,” doesn’t give up its cheeky storytelling but does feel calmer than the Beths’ debut. You wouldn’t know it by the first track, “I’m Not Getting Excited,” with chaotically good bass and head-slamming drums and such lyrics as “And so I don’t enthuse, keep my grip on joy loose.” But by the time you get to the title track, you’re in a moodier, more self-reflective place with the band. Stokes sweetly croons, “And I, I think I love you / and I think that I loved you the whole time,” stretching out vowels but not giving a hint of sappiness.

Jan. 20 at 8 p.m. at Black Cat, 1811 14th St. NW. Sold out.


Adeline opens her 2021 EP “Adi Oasis” with the slow tempo, irresistibly groovy “Stages,” featuring Kamauu, a song that prepares the listener for six more tracks of jazz-infused, R&B jams. A saxophone sliding in and out and Kamauu’s distinctive vocals elevate the song about Adeline’s journey in the music industry. Formerly a member of the disco band “Escort,” Adeline’s evolution isn’t insignificant. Her self-titled, debut solo album dropped in 2018 and wasn’t disco, but a still dance-friendly offering with smooth synths and electronic influences. On songs like “Hi Life,” Adeline repeatedly sings, “High life skyline, high life to the other side,” her voice so smooth it swims atop futuristic production. “Adi Oasis” relies more on live instruments. “Whisper My Name” is another standout where Adeline serenades a lover as cool drums ground the song. “Maintain” brings the mood up a bit, a sort of call back to Adeline’s older projects, even though it’s about pandemic lockdown dread. She invites the listener to dance as she sings, “Got nowhere to dance / even though it’s the weekend” and “Got to find a way to deal with this fate.” After these last two years, Adeline says there’s nothing left to do but dance. Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. at Songbyrd, 540 Penn St. NE. $15.

Note: Proof of vaccination or a recent negative coronavirus test is required for entry to these shows. Check venue websites for details.