BLACK PUMAS, Black Pumas (ATO): ****

Charismatic frontman Eric Burton and producer/ex-Grupo Fantasma guitarist Adrian Quesada, plus guest players, put a cosmic spin on matters of the heart with tracks like “Black Moon Rising,” the hypnotic “Sweet Conversations” and “Confines” (“We all shine then burn over/ Like the stars in the night/ So cast a dream and watch it glide”). Valley native Burton, who busked in Santa Monica before landing in Austin in 2015, is reminiscent of D’Angelo and Terence Trent D’Arby, gritty yet sweet, and while Quesada’s lyrics can be obtuse his fretwork and production are spot-on in evoking the mystique as well as the open-hearted passion of ’60s-’70s soul.

JENNY TOLMAN, There Goes the Neighborhood (Old Sol): ***

The native Nashvillean is strongly reminiscent of Brandy Clark throughout her cheerful, twanging album debut. Tolman’s soft vocal tone magnifies her generosity of spirit even when she’s nailing characters with sharp details on snappy songs like “Work It” (“I’m just a coupon clipper with a push-up bra”), “High Class White Trash” and the amusing title track. Her melodic style and playful metaphors evoke traditional country, although “My Welcome Mat” stands as a contemporary anthem of tolerance (“In my living room ain’t no one out of place”). RIYL Clark, Kacey Musgraves and Elizabeth Cook.

GEORGIA ANNE MULDROW, Vweto II (Mello Music): **½

The category-defying singer/composer/producer veers from the more melodic songcraft of last year’s “Overload” with this experimental collection of spacey instrumentals, a sequel to her 2011 album. Sticky beats and textures make its 16 tracks aurally intriguing from a production standpoint; much of their chill allure lies in tracing and decipering interlaced funk, hip-hop, jazz and R&B elements. But it’s a rather esoteric exercise, and not recommended for anyone operating heavy machinery. Apropos of the gravity referenced in the Swahili title, it gets pretty heavy.

MANX MARRINER MAINLINE, Hell Bound for Heaven (Stony Plain): ****

A gut-satisfying from veteran guitarist Harry Manx and MoneyJunk frontman Steve Marriner, who intersperse heartfelt originals with blues and gospel chestnuts by Charlie Patton and the Staple Singers. Manx threads Marriner’s swampy title track with his mohan veena, a 20-stringed Indian lap slide instrument whose ethereal tones enhance the song’s account of spiritual search and reckoning behind Marriner’s gritty vocal. Other highlights include the Canadian duo’s moving ballad “Rise and Fall in Love” and a take on Rev. Gary Davis’ “Death Don’t Have No Mercy in This Land” that’s heavy on slide, vibe, and feel.,,