Nashville-based songwriter Winston Yellen’s Night Beds project excels at melancholy balladry that’s sometimes unbearably beautiful. This year’s Country Sleep begins with the soft-spoken “Faithful Heights,” an a cappella number through which his bourbon-soaked voice wanders. With heart-on-the-sleeve vocals, jangly guitars, and big choruses, it’s easy to compare Night Beds to the songs of the perennially sad Jeff Buckley. Yellen’s lyrics are elegantly simple: Phrases like “with a heart that always fails” stick in your mind. Instead of listening to the album alone with a bottle of wine, join in what’s sure to be a big public cryfest, and hope breezier songs like “Ramona” will distract you from calling your ex.
Night Beds performs with Indians and Cat Martino at 8 p.m. at the Black Cat Backstage, 1811 14th St. NW. $12. (202) 667-4490. blackcatdc.com.