This Friday, BOAT play a free in-store performance at Sonic Boom Records in Ballard, and it's a perfect opportunity to pick up a copy of their brand-new record, Setting the Paces. The album is full of fun, mood-elevating pop songs that celebrate the small things—like eating nachos, driving down I-5, and being the prince of Tacoma.

Their playful harmonies and the happy jingles that ring from their tambourines are especially welcome right now, as the approaching winter has caused my daily playlist to slip into dark, dreary territory. Because nothing sounds better on cold, sunless November days than songs that are completely devoid of all hope! Right?

Just look at the top three tracks (according to my iTunes) for the last couple of weeks:

"Dreamer" by Tiny Vipers—the sparse acoustic track ends with her crying out "I'm gonna live/But I'm living far away/I'm gonna die/I'm dying for a way out."

"Baltimore" by Asahi—a slow, downtrodden tune about disappointment, with a chorus that insists "No one's perfect/You can't be perfect" over and over again.

"First Night on Earth" by Maritime—in which the usually upbeat ex–Promise Ring band chills out for four minutes with a ballad about feeling completely hopeless.

But never mind all that! The winter here in the Northwest is long—we have so many more months to enjoy such somber songs. For now, we should fight off the fall while we still have some fight left. And if you need even a little more help in the ass-kicking territory, head to El Corazón on Thursday, where Big Business and Thrones will be on hand to give your eardrums a good pummeling. You can listen to the mopey shit later. For now, let's be happy and loud.

Thurs Nov 5: Big Business, Thrones at El Corazón, 8 pm, $13 adv/$15 DOS.

Fri Nov 6: BOAT at Sonic Boom Records Ballard, 7 pm, free.

Support The Stranger

Fri Nov 6: Evangelicals at the Vera Project, 7:30 pm, $9 ($8 w/ club card).

Tues Nov 10: The Mountain Goats, Final Fantasy at Showbox at the Market, 8 pm, $20.