RANKY TANKY, Stand By Me (indie release): ***½

The Charleston, South Carolina-based quintet tease their forthcoming full-length “Good Time,” out July 12, with this five-track EP. Known for reinterpreting folk, gospel and jazz traditionals with Gullah rhythms and language (“Sea Island Creole”), here Ranky Tanky (translation: “get funky with it”) also draw inspiration from West African ancestors enslaved along Carolina coastal plains and islands for originals like the spiritual “Stand By Me,” “Let Me Be,” and “Freedom,” a stirring showcase for the band and their uplifting message: “They take our land/ They take our rights/ But they’ll never know our power/ We’ll keep up the fight/ We want Freedom.” rankytanky.com

THE SMALL GLORIES, Assiniboine & the Red (Red House): ***½

Robust songwriting and joyful vocal chemistry between multi-instrumentalist JD Edwards and Wailin’ Jennys co-founder Cara Luft animate the Canadian duo’s sophomore album. Edwards shadows Luft’s vibrato-textured alto in deft harmony, as accordion, banjo, upright bass, Dobro, fiddle and guitars impart Appalachian texture to tracks like “Long Long Moon,” “Johnson Slide” and “Alberta.” The less poetic “Sing” doubles as mission statement: “I could sing for the praise/ Spitting out nothing/ Wasting time up on the stage/ Good folks are bleeding freedom/ Denied their truth/ One thing I can do is sing for you.” RIYL Civil Wars, the Steel Wheels. thesmallglories.com

RHYE, Spirit (Loma Vista): ***

R&B keyboardist/producer Mike Milosh slows down the BPMs for eight songs about loving his woman and his baby grand piano, on which he composed spare music that’s all about connection, rather than challenge. The vibe is contemplative and seriously chill, with Milosh’s romantic sighs and yearning, minor-key melodies going down as easily as a glass of pinot noir at sunset. Highlights include “Patience,” its harmonic elegance heightened by a guest turn from Icelandic pianist/composer Ólafur Arnalds; the hypnotic “Needed”; and the sweet, slow-building “Save Me.” Opening for Leon Bridges at Hollywood Bowl July 5. rhyemusic.com

CHIP & TONY KINMAN, Sounds Like Music  (Omnivore): ****

We lost a good man and musician when Tony Kinman died last year. The lanky bassist’s deep baritone and reserve played ying to brother Chip’s wisecracking tenor yang, a dynamic that brightens this gratifying compilation of 22 previously unreleased tracks (including four with Alejandro Escovedo) by cowpunk trailblazers Rank and File, SoCal punkers the Dils, the underrated Cowboy Nation, and category-defying Blackbird. Surprises include an ethereal “Old Paint,” a snarling alternate take on “Rank and File,” and a sweetly sung, requiem-like version of Tom Waits’ “Jersey Girl.” omnivorerecordings.com