No local album released this year has become more solidly lodged in my heavy rotation than the Pica Beats' dreamy sophomore effort, Beating Back the Claws of the Cold. Singer-songwriter Ryan Barrett spins plucky melodies and impressionistic yarns dotted with lyrical details, and his band surrounds him with endearing, wavering vocal harmonies and a ramshackle assortment of instruments (including sitar and oboe). Their songs have the feeling of fragile hope thawing out of low-lit autumnal melancholy. Seattle is lucky to call the Pica Beats its own. (Comet, 922 E Pike St, 323-9853. 9 pm, $6, 21+.)