MOURNING [A] BLKSTAR, Garner Poems (Electric Cowbell): ****

Cleveland’s self-described “DIY Afrofuturist soul” collective pay powerful tribute to Eric Garner and Tamir Rice with this dark but consequential 10-song suite, composed by keyboardist/producer RA Washington and LaToya Kent, with gospel-fed vocals (from Kent, James Longs and Kyle Kidd) recalling Curtis Mayfield protests. That’s entirely appropriate. “Anti Anthem” punches out rallying cries (“Power to the living”) over a magnetic funk groove, but “Emancipation,” “Bullet” and the title track haunt with washes of synths, horns, harmonica, percussion and words (“I can’t breathe”), while the jazz-meets-hip-hop “our mecca” mantra of “Harlem River” evokes Langston Hughes and renaissance lost. Listen. mourningablkstar.com

LARKIN POE, Venom & Faith (Tricki-Woo): ***

Urgency crackles through this slick follow-up to last year’s blues-dripping “Peach,” from gospel great Bessie Jones’ horn-amplified stomper “Sometime” through lively groover “Bleach Blonde Bottle Blues,” the handclapping nostalgia of “Blue Ridge Mountains,” and Oxycontin-drugged “Fly Like an Eagle.” Rebecca Lovell’s arrangements resemble her vocals — lean muscle, no fat — while “SlideQueen” sister Megan’s lap steel layers in thicker emotion and atmosphere. The rocking showstoppers’ identify their sound here; time and gravity will bring depth. “Do you like to go fast?” The question, posed over an ominous bass undertow during “Honey Honey,” answers itself. larkinpoe.com

DEAD CAN DANCE, Dionysus (PIAS): ****½

DCD’s first album since 2012’s “Anastasis” inventively deploys instruments from around the globe (balalaika, Iranian frame drum, Slovakian flute, oud, zither), tribal chants, natural sounds (South American bird calls, wind, waves, Swiss goats, New Zealand beehives) and polyrhythms while exploring the Greek god’s myth and music as spiritual signifier. At moments during “Dance of the Bacchantes” and “The Mountain,” ululating vocals, gaida (bagpipe) and thrumming percussion suggest communal desert rituals meeting Celtic paganism. Words are humble vehicles of expression about a kaleidoscopically creative, musically stirring venture in which Lisa Gerrard and Brendan Perry conjure their own language. deadcandance.com

SRSQ, Unreality (Dais): ***½

Kennedy Ashlyn movingly channels grief in this darkwave requiem for Them Are Us Too guitarist/collaborator Cash Askew, lost in Oakland’s 2016 Ghost Ship fire. Her expressive soprano, occasionally reminiscent of Cocteau Twin Elisabeth Fraser, centers eight songs whose rubbery synths and clapping electronic percussion lean heavily into ’80s-era 4AD sonic turf. Vocals drift, disembodied, during “The Martyr” and soar from reverberant depths to cathedral heights during the otherworldly “Permission,” suggesting hope beyond the “I’m blessed, I’m cursed” survivor guilt of “Only One.” Her yearning’s palpable. At Los Angeles Theater in downtown LA Saturday, Nov. 10. srsq.bandcamp.com