Tallahassee's Soft Targets craft indie pop that's mellow and sophisticated, yet highly melodic with an understated neo-psychedelic flair. There's a subtle but effective tension-and-release aspect to the trio's work, which melds watery guitars and ethereal keyboards. The band has more propulsive numbers as well, like the soaring pep talk "Under Control." Soft Targets' main selling point though, is frontman Jesse Corry, whose vocal delivery manages to be dramatic, especially when he reaches the upper register, but never cloying. His lyrics alternate between arrestingly surreal imagery and lines that expertly cut to the core of specific feelings. Take the rejection meditation "Something Else," where Corry wearily intones, "I've got that shaky, sick stomach of a boy just forced to fight."
Soft Targets w/Mirror Pal/Life of Pi, 9 p.m. (doors), Fri., Aug. 29, New World Brewery, $6.