There may be no more eloquent ex-Christian in indie-rock than David Bazan. Once the voice and songwriting engine of the semireligious outfit Pedro the Lion, Bazan now records and tours under his own name. The newly agnostic singer-songwriter's excellent new album, Strange Negotiations, is full of faithless ruminations — the kind that wrestle with, rather than avoid, the rubs of real life: "I know that it's dangerous to judge/But man you gotta find the truth and when you find that truth don't budge/Until the truth you found begins to change/And it does, I know," he sings on "People." Few songwriters convey the vexing range of human emotion with the clarity Bazan does, and the album's spare production puts the thrilling muscle of the electric guitar and drums behind the singer's struggle for conviction. This is one secular sermon you'll want to hear.