Ethereal and deeply emotional, Headlights’ new album Wildlife is not so much a departure for the band as it is a fuller realization of its ultimate intentions. While much of Headlights’ work to date has been noticeably poppier and more upbeat, it has always carried an undercurrent of emotional depth and sonic dreaminess. This time around, the band captures that ruminative quality, encapsulating it in wistful keys and chiming guitar figures, with the ever-furtive sound of Erin Fein’s vocals acting as foil when the melody and meter veer toward purer pop territory. That dichotomy represents the best moments on this album; when the two sides coalesce, resulting in catchy tunes that leave you smiling despite a nagging sense of melancholy. As is always the case with Headlights’ music, even its headiest songs offer moments of pure pop bliss. NICHOLAS HALL

Sun., Nov. 8, 9 p.m., 2009

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