KHRUANGBIN, Mordechai (Dead Oceans): ★★★1/2

Titled after a friend who took bassist Laura Lee Ochoa on a transformational hike that realigned her thinking about living versus existing, the eclectic Houston trio’s third full-length album is reassuringly chill and surprisingly textured with vocals — some upfront, others rippling like gauzy veils. The 10 tracks drift across time, evoking ’60s pop,’70s disco funk, West African rock, gospel and psychedelic soul around guitarist Mark Speer’s dream-like solos and drummer Donald “DJ” Johnson’s thick foundational grooves. Highlights: lead single “Time (You and I),” “First Class,” the spacey “One to Remember,” “Shida.” khruangbin.com


ANGELA MUÑOZ, Introspection (Linear Labs):
★★★

The 18-year-old LA native, who’s been featured on tour with the Midnight Hour, seems to sing from a vantage point beyond her years as she smoothly melds styles (R&B, soul jazz, folk, trip-hop), beats and time signatures on her debut for Adrian Younge’s label. “This makes me wish that we had sober fun,” she confesses during “So Young” with a vocal quiver that recalls Billie Holiday and Amy Winehouse. “This makes me wish that I would stay young.” An assured voice that deserves to be heard, and an intriguing debut. Highlights: “I Don’t Care,” “Can I Get Your Name” (“Love’s not faithful/ I’m not grateful/ I’m done for now”). angelamunoz.bandcamp.com


CAPTAIN PLANET, No Visa (Bastard Jazz):
★★★1/2

The globally attuned DJ and producer (otherwise known as Charlie Wilder) rounded up an international cast of beat-makers and vocalists to enhance his trademark “gumbo funk” for his fifth full-length release, including Sudanese-American artist Alsarah, LA’s Chico Mann, Brazilian-New York funk queen Zuzuka Poderosa, and Jamaican reggae revivalist Jesse Royal. In a lighthearted set, a dynamic collaboration with Zimbabwean-American singer Shungudzo, “Big Man,” stands out; other highlights include “Body Yako” (with Kongo Elektro & Thornato) and the mellower, birdcall-accented “Fireflies & Palm Wine.” djcaptainplanet.bandcamp.com


JULIAN TAYLOR, The Ridge (Howling Turtle):
★★★

The Toronto music scene veteran scales back from the angsty rock of his band Staggered Crossing, eschewing grand statements for more modest, melodically comforting stories cradled in beds of fingerpicked acoustic guitar, pedal steel, fiddle and percussion that complement his vocal warmth. That simplified folk-country approach suits heartfelt tracks such as “Be With You” and the romantic “Over the Moon,” as well as “Love Enough,” which has the vibe of a joyful living room jam. RIYL William Bell, Slaid Cleaves. juliantaylormusic.ca