OUR NATIVE DAUGHTERS, Songs of Our Native Daughters (Smithsonian Folkways/African American Legacy Recordings): ****½

Honest, searing Americana from Rhiannon Giddens, Amythyst Kiah, Leyla McCalla, and Birds of Chicago’s Allison Russell, who revisit slave narratives and construct deep, textured tales around themes of racism, resistance and hope. Banjo’s abundant — all four women play, as does superb producer Dirk Powell — alternately haunting and joyful. Highlights: the cello- and harmony-lifted “You’re Not Alone,” Giddens’ chilling “Mama’s Cryin’ Long,” and Russell’s piercing “Quasheba, Quasheba,” inspired by an ancestor sold into slavery: “Raped and beaten, your babies taken/ Starved and sold and sold again/ Ain’t you a woman of love deservin’/ …Born of your bone, by the grace of your strength we have life.” folkways.si.edu/songs-of-our-native-daughters

ALICIA OLATUJA, Intuition: Songs From the Minds of Women (Resilience): ***½

Olatuja’s vocal clarity and soaring range commanded attention in performance at President Barack Obama’s 2013 inauguration. Subsequent recordings emphasized the jazz stylist’s warmth and interpretive skills, as does this diversely sourced, aptly titled collection of songs by women composers, including Tracy Chapman, Imogen Heap and Joni Mitchell. The relatively spare arrangement of Sade’s “No Ordinary Love” doesn’t stray far from the original’s hypnotic groove, but complements Olatuja’s yearning treatment of the lyric, while harmonies supplant synths and emphasize the humanity of Kate Bush’s “This Woman’s Work.” aliciaolatuja.com

ROSES & CIGARETTES, Echoes & Silence (self-released): ***

Harmonizing guitar parts underscore the sisterly bond between vocalist Jenny Pagliaro and guitarist Angela Petrilli throughout the LA duo’s long-awaited sophomore full-length. A tough yet vulnerable spirit of resilience animates barreling opener “Fast as I Can,” stormy rocker “Bones on the Ground” and the poignant title track, all fueled by metavivor Pagliaro’s public cancer battle and both showcases for Petrilli’s strong, supportive fretwork. Other standouts include “Stranded,” a soulful duet with Marc Broussard, and the balmy “California Going Home,” whose sing-along chorus is as soothing as its message of gratitude. rosesandcigarettes.com

YOLA, Walk Through Fire (Easy Eye/Nonesuch): ****

The UK-raised artist’s debut’s a ’60s-influenced soul-country gem that mines gold from adversity (including homelessness and childhood poverty), with solid support from producer/co-writer Dan Auerbach. Fear of love’s a recurring theme yielding seductively melodic tracks like “Deep Blue Dream” and “It Ain’t Easier”; Yola’s gritty growls are all the more persuasive for being unleashed judiciously across this thoughtfully paced set. Rootsy instrumentation complements her velvety tone and vocal finesse, especially during standouts “Rock Me Gently,” “Ride Out in the Country,” the title track and warmly heartening “Love is Light.” RIYL Bobbie Gentry, Irma Thomas. Iamyola.com