PHOEBE BRIDGERS, Stranger in the Alps (Dead Oceans): 4 Stars

Melancholy melodies and vital pop hooks form connective tissue throughout the former Pasadena resident’s proper album debut, following her 2015 EP “Killer” (its title track and fan favorite “Georgia” are reprised here). Produced by Tony Berg and Ethan Gruska, it dynamically mines the friction between Bridgers’ girlish vocal vulnerability and thematic undercurrents darkening standout tracks like “Demi Moore” and catchy single “Motion Sickness” (“I have emotional motion sickness/ Somebody roll the windows down/ There are no words in the English language/ I could scream to drown you out”). Beautiful and compulsively listenable. phoebefuckingbridgers.com

SON LITTLE, New Magic (Anti): 4 Stars

The second full-length from Philly songwriter Aaron Livingston’s intriguing musical alter ego blends introspective depth and thoughtful arrangements with vintage R&B style and emotional allusions to blues, gospel and hip-hop. It’s heated by Livingston’s persuasively expressive tone, from the retro vibe of “Blue Magic (Waikiki),” “O Me O My” and the metaphorically promising “Bread and Butter” to the earthly temptations and otherworldly violin and vocal echoes of “The Middle” and the Washington Phillips-referencing “Demon to the Dark.” A mature, absorbing set that rewards intent listening. sonlittle.com

KRIS DELMHORST, The Wild (indie release): 3 Stars

It’s been a few years since the Brooklyn native’s last album (2014’s “Blood Test”), time devoted to raising her family in Massachusetts with husband and fellow songwriter Jeffrey Foucault. She’s supported here by Foucault and a tight, sympatico band sketching out the haunting atmospheres and emotional rivers coursing through intelligent “grownup songs” addressing change, loss, and endurance. Natural imagery abounds, and warm acoustic instrumentation (guitar, percussion, cello) complements the shivery poignancy of Delmhorst’s delivery. Highlights: title track, “All the Way Around,” “Color of the Sky,” the blues-toned “Lonely West.” krisdelmhorst.com

JIM LAUDERDALE, London Southern (Sky Crunch): 3½ Stars

The prolific country tunesmith’s 29th album continues the boundary pushing that distinguished 2015’s “Soul Searching.” Recorded in London primarily with Nick Lowe’s band and producer, and featuring co-writes with Odie Blackmon, John Oates and Dan Penn, it’s a moodier set of midcentury-style pop, R&B and soul balladry graced with cocktail piano, lounge-y sax and eloquent guitar solos, one that takes satisfying advantage of Lauderdale’s limber range as he brings seasoned perspective to his favored topic: matters of the heart. Headlining Roots Roadhouse at the Echo in Echo Park Saturday, Sept. 23. jimlauderdale.com