The members of Works Progress Administration, which goes principally by its abbreviation, WPA, take a companionable approach to conflicted emotion. On Wednesday night at Joe’s Pub, the band’s set began as its self-titled, self-released album does: with “Always Have My Love,” a vow of constancy set against a relationship’s ruins. “So someone might have spent the night beside you,” sang Glen Phillips. “He can’t love you like I do.” Had he not been strumming a guitar, you might have expected a pitiful shrug.
So what came next might have been a corrective measure: “End This Now,” another poisoned-love song from the album, which is due out on Sept. 15. Here Mr. Phillips played the heavy, over a well-groomed honky-tonk waltz.