ELVIS COSTELLO & THE IMPOSTERS,

Look Now (Concord): ****½

Don’t be surprised if other artists tap this nimbly performed, creative descendent of 1982’s “Imperial Bedroom,” which Costello revived on tour last year, for future material. The perfectly elegant (and gorgeously arranged) “Photographs Can Lie” and title track (both co-written with Burt Bacharach), the string-corseted “Suspect My Tears” and Motown-tinged “Unwanted Number” exemplify the kind of genre-transcending balladry with which vocalists traditionally prove their mettle. Costello often adopts female perspectives — notably “Stripping Paper,” which utilizes faded wallpaper as marriage metaphor — while the Carole King collaboration “Burnt Sugar is So Bitter” pairs eloquently compressed narrative with rhythmic urgency. A gem. elviscostello.com

MODA SPIRA, Divorce (self-released): ***

As her musical alter ego, Latifah Alattas spins emotionally fraught atmospheres in which her affecting vocals and ethereal harmonies glide above spare accompaniment. Single-word titles (“Bed,” “Forgive”) and a cello-burnished cover (June Carter Cash’s “Ring of Fire”) frame her story; the simplicity of arrangements magnifies the catharsis of tracks like “Regret,” whose piano, violin and electronic percussion gradually crescendo as Alattas bravely confesses: “You can’t regret it if you’ve never hurt it/ You can’t forget it if you’ve never had it/ …You can’t receive it if you never give it.” At Bootleg Theatre in LA with Liz Vice Thursday, Nov. 1. modaspira.com

DILLON CARMICHAEL,Hell On an Angel (Riser House): ****

The native Kentuckian’s burly, expressive baritone’s tonally reminiscent of Jamey Johnson, and his Dave Cobb-produced, pedal steel-burnished songs stirringly root his individualism in respect for mentors as Johnson’s early albums did. Jon Pardi’s “Country Women,” one of two songs Carmichael didn’t write, rings hollow compared to Carmichael’s tradition-rocking “That’s What Hank Would Do” and small-town paean “It’s Simple.” With players who’ve collectively backed Brent Cobb, Waylon Jennings, Sturgill Simpson and Chris Stapleton, Carmichael’s comfortably securing his place in this generation’s version of an outlaw community. At the Mint in LA Monday, Nov. 5. dilloncarmichael.com

ELLE KING, Shake the Spirit (RCA): ***

King’s flair for gutsy, Joplin-esque vocalizing and consciously outré image-making raises the heat throughout this spicy gumbo of candor (“Sober,” the handjob-giving middle-school “It Girl”), self-mythologizing (“Baby Outlaw,” Duffy-evoking single “Shame”), and righteous vengeance on an ex who abused her trust (the slinky “Man’s Man”). Musically slicker and lyrically grittier than 2015’s “Love Stuff,” this embrace of electronic beats alongside King’s blues, country and soul influences (swoony lament “Good Thing Gone” is a highlight) signals unconventionality while raising hopes she’ll be in more focused command of her life and next album. At Belasco Theatre in LA Nov. 12. elleking.com