Athena (CD)

Brittney Parks builds on her distinctive African-fiddle meets R&B and electronica arrangements on Athena, the new Sudan Archives album. The sliding strings and skittering beats of the strong track, “Confessions,” provide a fascinating background for the melodic vocals. “Iceland Moss” is smooth and airy with a contrasting edge to her lyrics; “Pelicans in The Summer” has a nice dose of soul to wrap up this collection of well-produced and quirky genre-crossing songs.

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American Love Call (CD)

Channeling classic soul singers like Jackie Wilson, Curtis Mayfield, and The Impressions, modern day Dead Oceans exports Durand Jones & The Indications fully deliver on the sun-drenched throwback soul album American Love Call. Vocalist Jones starts the album firing on all cylinders thanks to the urgent, affecting “Morning in America.” Featuring lush strings and dreamy backing vocals, the band’s sophomore album revels in its retro aesthetics while managing to sound more topical and thought-provoking than ever before. Both timeless and timely, American Love Call shows a very talented band at the top of its game.

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