Staff Pick: Spissy puts on a brave public face on self-titled debut

Andy Downing, Columbus Alive

Spissy's self-titled debut, which surfaced earlier this year, arrives packed with lo-fi indie-pop gems that twinkle like fluorescent, glow-in-the-dark stars spackled to a bedroom ceiling. At times, the duo's words express frustration, heartache, discomfort and stress - "I took a walk just to ease my mind," Ben Lumsdaine and Aaron Denton sing on "Symptoms" - but the music rarely betrays these emotions, like a shattered soul putting on a brave face to step out in public.

Elsewhere, the two detail tortured relationships ("Her heart … [is] tearing you apart," they sing amid the lazy tropical river of "Her Heart"), struggle with uneasiness (the sax-kissed "The Feeling,") and, on the spare, violin-laced "Origami," the accumulated bruises brought about by having paper-thin skin. "There's no need to fight," sing the musicians in a defeated tone suggestive of a boxer who's taken one too many punches over the course of a career. To the band's credit, though, it remains in the ring, ready to absorb another blow in hopes of staggering its way to eventual victory.

Kafe Kerouac

8 p.m. Saturday, April 23

2250 N. High St., Campus

ALSO PLAYING: Swarming Branch, Kizzy Hall, Major Murphy