“Have you ever felt that someone was mysterious and strange?” Emma Witmer of Gobbinjr sings on the title track of Vom Nitethe band’s latest EP. “When you get too close, you feel the urge to look the other way,” Witmer continues. “No one wants to love someone who’s never been loved before.”

It’s an uncomfortable, albeit compelling, sentiment: Feeling pushed away from something precisely because of its attractive qualities is the type of aching human experience that is universally relatable. And though many songs about mysterious strangers have and will be written, “Vom Nite,” like the rest of Gobbinjr’s œuvre, is remarkable because of the way it highlights Witmer’s specific wit and sensitivity. Over and over again, Witmer takes apart shared human experiences to expose their awkward mechanics. “I feel creepy all the time,” she sings on “Firefly,” “because I like everybody more than they like me.”

Nestled within glowy, electric-orchestral melodies of Gobbinjr, these lyrics have the potential to come across as saccharine — but Witner delivers them with such dry sincerity that they feel more revelatory than just revealing. This pattern repeats throughout Gobbinjr’s discography — sharp, slightly sentimental lyrics couched in dreamy synths — but it manages to feel refreshing each time.

Though Witmer is an extremely accomplished performer on the East Coast (along with her work in Gobbinjr, she plays bass for fellow Brooklyn band Fits) this Friday will mark Gobbinjr’s first Bay Area performance. As part of LMSFN‘s “Escape From First Fridays” series, Gobbinjr will play at Eli’s Mile High Club in Oakland, along with The Tambo Rays, Dot Vom, and Try the Pie. It’s an exciting lineup, not the least because of the event’s focus on women and femme-fronted bands. And for Gobbinjr, it’s set to be a special show: Witmer will play with a full band onstage, an event unlikely to happen again — at least in The Bay Area — in the near future.

Following Gobbinjr’s first ever Bay Area show, the band will play their second Bay Area show on Saturday night, at Different Fur Studios in the Mission District of San Francisco. Unlike Friday’s debut, Gobbinjr’s show on Saturday will be all-ages and free: A draw for both those who might lack the resources to make it to Oakland on Friday, and for those who prefer the more intimate environment of a studio show. And more: Different Fur promises hot dogs, Capri Suns, and a Spongebob Stratocaster raffle.

The Tambo Rays, Gobbinjr, Try the Pie
Eli’s Mile High Club
May 5, 2017
8pm, $10 (21+)