Stage fright afflicts plenty of musicians, even mononymous superstars like Rihanna, Adele and Lorde. Count Emelia Bleker, the vocalist for D.C.-based band Nah., among that lofty but beleaguered company.

“I can very-barely open my eyes onstage,” she admits, adding with a laugh, “I have this conspiracy theory that if I open my eyes, I’ll go off key.”

That phobia is part of what originally attracted Bleker to poetry, which she studied in college: the ability to self-analyze and create art without standing in front of people. But as she soldiers on in Nah., her poetic lyrics act as a sword and a shield.

Occasionally, the lyrics sound like poems set to music, like the dreamy, spoken-word-and-guitar “Discography,” on the band’s debut album, “Teeth.” And sometimes, they are full-throated attacks, like on the album’s title track, which has a punk energy contrary to the album’s pop-rock melodies.

Nah. features multiple survivors of sexual assault, and that title track is the band’s attempt to “mirror an emotion through music”: support for fellow survivors and a demand for things to change.

“When we play it live, we let people know: If you need some time to scream, feel free to yell,” Bleker explains. “It doesn’t have to be the words we’re saying: Get it out if you need to get it out.”

That sense of catharsis is crucial to the band, several of whom grew up in the D.C. punk scene. “I always found beauty in coming together,” says bassist Brendan Ra Tyler. “Let’s get together, let’s mosh [and] we’ll be better together for it after the fact.”

Show: Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. at Pearl Street Warehouse, 33 Pearl St. SW. pearlstreetwarehouse.com. $12.