With Eight Houses, the latest album from Maryland-by-way-of-Brooklyn duo She Keeps Bees, singer/guitarist Jessica Larrabee abandons the relationship dramas that dominated past releases, casting her eyes upon a planet and peoples under siege.

With Eight Houses, the latest album from Maryland-by-way-of-Brooklyn duo She Keeps Bees, singer/guitarist Jessica Larrabee abandons the relationship dramas that dominated past releases, casting her eyes upon a planet and peoples under siege.

"There's a lot of scariness out there, and not much concern for it," Larrabee said, reached en route to Denver in the midst of the band's current tour, which stops at Rumba Cafe on Friday, Sept. 19. "I'd rather have music create healing … instead of my younger side, which was sometimes embodying a more spiteful voice."

So songs here dwell on a deep connection to the environment - "Eternal bloom of the dawn spirals from the earth to the heart," the frontwoman offers on the glowing, piano-flecked "Radiance" - and linger with outcast populaces. Witness "Wasichu," a tender spiritual inspired by old photographs of displaced Native American tribes. "Made you cut your hair/ Cover your body/Sit like a dog," Larrabee sings atop steady thrum of guitar. "Give up!"

Yet for all the challenges and adversities that surface in the music, Eight Houses is defined by a deep-seated resolve. "You'll have to send a strong goddamn wind to get rid of me," the singer howls on one number. Then, on the album-closing "Is What It Is," "Do not surrender."

"That's the part I'm hoping people take away - that sense of self, and that deeper knowledge no one can touch and no one can take away from you," Larrabee said. "It's something I've been struggling to sort out for years now. Sometimes there are wounds from when you were maybe a teenager that never fully healed, or you can put spells on yourself and have these belief systems that aren't true anymore. That's been my journey."

Music has always served a therapeutic role for the musician; she half-jokingly referred to it as "her best friend," and said songwriting also helped her feel less alone during those trying teenage years. Furthermore, music fostered a deeper bond between the singer and her father, a lifelong drummer who died recently.

"It's a sort of unspoken language, and if you get to speak that with your family, I think it's cool," she said.

It's a connection she now shares with partner and She Keeps Bees drummer Andy LaPlant, whom she credits with providing both a support system and an ego-free environment that have allowed the pair's artistic vision to flourish.

"Andy really allowed me … to be the musician I wanted to be," said Larrabee, who grew up infatuated with strong female artists like Patti Smith and Minneapolis punks Babes in Toyland. "We were doing it ourselves, and we didn't have to answer to anybody. It allowed a lot of confidence in that way, like, 'We did it. We're here.'"