“Here we were,” recalls Willett, “playing, like, blues with a woman’s voice and trying to be something truly bizarre and realizing how much of what we do makes so little sense to people, but at the same time—we loved it!”

And now here they are—backlit by the noon sun in a little independent restaurant just a few days from the release of an EP that isn’t so much bizarre as happily familiar, made by a band remembering what they loved about first being a band. If that’s not specific enough to count as growth, they’re feeling stronger than ever, anyway, maintains Willett. And now, he says, “we’re gonna set out to have our message heard.”

Cold War Kids at the Wiltern, 3790 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, (213) 380-5005; livenation.com. Fri., 7:30 p.m. $19.50-$25. All ages.

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