CAOIMHÍN Ó RAGHALLAIGH & THOMAS BARTLETT, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh & Thomas Bartlett  (The Dwelling/Real World): ****½

Bandmates in the Irish ensemble the Gloaming, 10-string hardanger d’amore fiddler Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh and pianist Thomas Bartlett debut as a duo with this beautifully nuanced instrumental exchange. Phrases of traditional Celtic melodies refract through nine mostly improvised compositions like beams of memory, or gentle sun vaporizing riverbank mist; introspective tracks like “Wanderer,” “All Good Things” and “Strange Vessels” invite creative free association as they unwind to the sway of their own emotional logic. Stunning. RIYL Ólafur Arnalds. caoimhinandthomas.com

ABRAHAM ALEXANDER, Abraham Alexander (Mahogany): ***

Inspired by Gary Clark Jr.’s blues guitar playing, the Athens-born, Texas-raised singer-songwriter’s a more vocally nimble balladeer whose soulful R&B recalls Michael Kiwanuka throughout this promising EP. The dreamy “Stay” ponders matters of home and heart with a hooky refrain; the more rocking “America” namechecks MLK, Malcolm X and Rosa Parks (“You stand for truth and they gun you down/ …I love this land but thank God I’m saved by grace”). Contemplating faith, racism, police brutality and his father, Alexander remains hopeful yet pensive. At the Troubadour in West Hollywood Sept. 20. abrahamalexandermusic.com

JANIVA MAGNESS, Sings John Fogerty: Change in the Weather (Blue Elan): ***

The dynamic blues-soul diva has long shown discerning taste in material, and her decision to dig into Fogerty’s classic tunebag for songs expressing her current worldview proves inspired. “Bad Moon Rising” gets draped with bluesy slide guitar and duet partner Sam Morrow injects some lusty funk into “Lodi,” though arrangements for the title track and “Lookin’ Out My Back Door” sound oddly constricting. The less well-known “A Hundred and Ten in the Shade” is a swampy, harmony-greased treat that, like the slow-building soul treatment of “Have You Ever Seen the Rain,” gives Magness room to breathe smoldering fire into the lyric. janivamagness.com

QUEEN OF JEANS, If You’re Not Afraid, I’m Not Afraid (Top Shelf): ***

“You be you,” frontwoman Miriam Devora coos in glass-like tones before calling out a lover for attempted gaslighting (“Well I have a thoughtful mouth/ While you spew sick intolerance/ I’m afraid to leave my house”). Questing and self-questioning, the South Philly pop-rocker dissects love’s intimate mortifications with finesse, buoying dark lyrics with swelling choruses, harmonies, and guitarist Mattie Glass’ strong, reverbed fretwork. Highlights: the sardonic “Only Obvious to You” (“Innocent and meek/ Holding on to your every word/ Versed in self-defeat”), “Get Lost,” the defiant “Take It All Away.” queenofjeans.ne