(Bayonet): 4 STARS

“Drum pop Louisianais” from a youthful sextet singing half in English, half in Louisiana-French patois, and upending expectations of traditional Cajun waltzes. The ebullient offshoot of Sam Craft and Alexis Marceaux’s duo pushes rhythm front and center — four members usually play percussion behind the keyboard and bass — alongside thick harmonies. Production is slick (and almost torpedoes the stirring “Mon Esprit”), but the sound is unique. Other highlights: “Isle Dans la Mer,” “Finger Guns.” At Levitt Pavilion in MacArthur Park Friday, June 23.

GOSPELBEACH, Another Summer of Love

(Alive Naturalsound): 3 STARS

Erin McLaughlin’s musical alter ego sings with hearty, reverbed luster of romantic yearning and woes, community (the gospel-tinged “Church and State”) and heroes (the country-kicking “Ode to Vic Chesnutt”: “It’s not enough to make what you want from dreams/ Because all such things are likely to be shaken”). Vivid imagery and polished arrangements impress, but they’re secondary to McLaughlin’s commanding vocal presence. Should attract Jenny Lewis fans. Other highlights: “Memory,” “Damn Your Love,” “Why Do You Leave.” Release show at Hotel Café in Hollywood Saturday, June 24. 


(Three Quarter): 3.5 STARS

A months-long stretch living out of his car in California and returning home to Massachusetts inspired this warehouse worker/self-taught musician’s compelling full-length debut. Ryan cushions his Bon Iver-like falsetto with keyboard pads, acoustic guitar, R&B grooves, and sound effects (breathing, crickets, keys, a pill bottle opening) that backdrop his emotional, dynamically arranged narratives. Highlights: “Nothing,” “Rock Bottom” (“It was a sacrifice/ Giving up your life/ For someone who can’t see the light inside of you”), “To Live and Die in New England.” RIYL Bon Iver and Coldplay.

SONNY LANDRETH, Recorded Live in Lafayette (Mascot): 4 STARS

It’s old news that the widely respected Louisianan, whose ardent fans include Eric Clapton, is a monster slide guitarist (hence his “King of Slydeco” nickname). What’s new here is the lightning-in-a-bottle capture of pristinely recorded acoustic as well as electric sets. Hearing stylistically diverse avenues Landreth’s extended solos chart (often in exchange with accordionist Steve Conn and acoustic guitarist Sam Broussard) through oft-performed blues, zydeco, and back-catalogue material consistently and viscerally gratifies. Highlights: the smoky “A World Away,” “Creole Angel,” “Back to Bayou Teche,” a sauntering “Key to the Highway.”