Sarah Rabdau &

Self-Employed Assassins

Free As Thieves

Somewhere in the pop cosmos near Kate Bush, Björk, and Florence & the Machine floats “Free as Thieves,” the sprawling new album from local rockers Sarah Rabdau & Self-Employed Assassins, their first full-length in four years.

Its 11 songs explode with a power-pop propensity, full of driving keyboards, punchy horns, thunderous drums, and production that gives the whole album a panoramic, space-age feel. But there’s also a sense of dread lurking beneath those shiny exteriors. “If the planets aligned as designed, I’d still find a way to be chronically dissatisfied,” sings the narrator of “67 Mustang.”


She’s in good company, too. “Free as Thieves” is overrun with characters staring down their own sense of mortality, even if the music suggests this is one big party. (Out Nov. 19) JAMES REED

ESSENTIAL “67 Mustang”

Sarah Rabdau & Self-Employed Assassins and fellow local rockers Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling will share the stage at T.T. the Bear’s in Cambridge on Nov. 15. Show starts at 9 p.m. with Bent Knee and Lifestyle. Tickets are $10, $8 in advance. www.ticketweb.com