WEYES BLOOD, Titanic Rising (Sub Pop): ***½

Peripatetic composer and multi-instrumentalist Natalie Mering’s voice, an intriguing mix of refined Karen Carpenter warmth and Chrissie Hynde toughness, is complemented by the string-loaded prettiness of “Lot’s Gonna Change” and ethereal beauty of “Movies,” but the main attraction’s her songwriting: jaunty pop (“Everyday”), yearning balladry (“Something to Believe”), wistful folk (“Picture Me Better”), instrumental weirdness (the title track), synth rock (the brooding “Mirror Forever”). Like an intricate mystery, it embraces grand arrangements while mulling more intimate concerns swathed in thoughtfully crafted atmosphere and plot twists. At Hollywood Forever Thursday, April 4. weyesblood.com

MOLLY TUTTLE, When You’re Ready (Compass): ***½

The Northern California native remains rooted in bluegrass while reaching into other genres — Americana, country, electronic, folk, pop — for ideas and textures throughout her statement-making solo full-length debut, which follows her 2017 EP “Rise.” The 2018 AmericanaFest Instrumentalist of the Year and two-time International Bluegrass Music Association Guitarist of the Year keeps her singing clear and simply phrased, letting her strikingly articulate fretwork do the heavy melodic and emotional lifting. Highlights: the hooky title track, “Million Miles,” the stormy, blues-flecked surprise “Sit Back and Watch It Roll.” mollytuttlemusic.com

QUIANA LYNELL, A Little Love (Concord): ***

Duke Ellington, Donny Hathaway and Irma Thomas are among the composers represented throughout this elegant debut, which discerningly melds jazz, gospel, soul, and social consciousness. The satin-toned New Orleans chanteuse, winner of the 2017 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition, displays impeccable intonation and restraint; a jolly duet with Jamison Ross of George Gershwin’s “They All Laughed” especially shines. But the album’s most alive when her gospel inclinations get freer reign during her conversational take on Hathaway’s “Tryin’ Times,” and a range-showcasing medley of Ellington’s “Come Sunday” and the Nina Simone-popularized “I Wish I Knew (How It Would Feel to Be Free).” quianalynell.com

SHAWN JAMES, The Dark & the Light  (Parts + Labor): ***

Having decamped from Arkansas to LA, home of his new label, the hard-touring indie rocker delivers a polished set magnifying the soulfulness of his church-raised, operatically trained baritone. Fans of James’ “dirty delta blues rock” with the Shapeshifters might be wary of the sleeker surfaces but the primal, spiritually minded force of earlier recordings storms through tracks like “Orpheus,” “Burn the Witch” and “Haunted.” More surprising are the horn-ribbed “There It Is” and autobiographical epic “Love Will Find a Way,” both meeting James’ expressed desire to, as Otis Redding and Bill Withers did, lift listeners up during hard times. shawnjamesmusic.com