OUMOU SANGARÉ, Acoustic (No Format): ★★★½

A stripped-down redo of the Malian diva’s 2017 album “Mogoya,” with guitar, ngoni, and hand percussion supplanting the original recording’s electric instrumentation. “Kamelemba” exchanges instrumental build for slightly more hypnotic rhythms; this version of the funky “Fadjamou” mellows the groove, while the title track’s swaying cadence benefits from acoustic treatment, stripping away synthesizer effects to allow Sangaré’s expressive vocals and guitarist Guimba Kouyate’s intuitive fretwork to carry the mood. Sangaré’s socially conscious themes and trademark call-and-response harmonies remain, true to her Wassoulou traditions, though they sound more organic here (especially during “Mali Niale”), like real women gathered together. facebook.com/oumousangareofficiel

GORDI, Our Two Skins (Jagjaguwar):★★★★

Australian singer-songwriter Sophie Payten negotiates isolation and questions of sexual identity and relationship throughout this spare yet commanding follow-up to 2017’s “Reservoir.” Intimacy and distance stare each other down during tense six-minute opener “Aeroplane Bathroom,” a melodic piano ballad that sets up the losses and discoveries that follow (“I’m wondering why I haven’t seen myself before/ In naked lights and sleepless nights/ … the contents of my chest are down there on the floor”). “Unready” and “Sandwiches” kick up the pace with bright pop arrangements and thrumming electronics, but hushed ballads such as “Volcanic” (“Am I burning us out to keep your interests piqued”) make the strongest impact. RIYL Phoebe Bridgers, Bon Iver, Imogen Heap. gordisounds.tumblr.com

KAMAAL WILLIAMS, Wu Hen (Black Focus): ★★★

After breaking through as one half of widely acclaimed South London jazz duo Yussef Kamaal, keyboardist/producer Williams teams with LA-based Katalyst drummer Greg Paul and a smooth combo for his sophomore solo outing. Rather than the ’70s fusion flavors of Williams’ 2018 solo debut “The Return” or the streetwise sense of rhythmic discovery of Yussef Kamaal, “Wu Hen” colors its esoteric jazz palette with funk and R&B. Emotional hooks are supplied by distinctive contributions from string player Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and saxophonist Quinn Mason (notably during “Pigalle,” which sounds like an after-hours jam, and the meditative “Early Prayer”), though overall it sounds more exploratory than focused. kamaalwilliams.com

THE NAKED AND FAMOUS, Recover (Somewhat Damaged): ★★★

The New Zealand-raised, LA-based duo’s fourth album finds Alisa Xayalith and Thom Powers turning away from the crunchy drums of previous releases into even sleeker synth-pop sounds. Purportedly intended at least in part to be an agent of healing, the album sets lyrics addressing depression, survival and loss — of childhood, of a parent, of expectations and relationships — against hooky melodies and pumped-up production that promise acceptance but sometimes smother hopeful messages. Highlights: the self-empowering title track, “Come as You Are,” “Death,” “The Sound of My Voice.” thenakedandfamous.com

CARY MORIN, Dockside Saints (self-released): ★★★★

Opening with the New Orleans-flavored “Nobody Gotta Know,” the Colorado guitarist and songwriter displays the range of his “Native Americana” with vibey support from accordionist Corey Ledet and fiddler Beau Thomas and songs ranging from bluesy grooves to atmospheric instrumentals (the lovely “Bare Trees”), Southern gospel, and history-haunted narratives (“Chosen Road,” “Valley of the Chiefs,” inspired by his Crow family heritage). Morin’s evocative acoustic and slide playing and earthy vocal delivery position him on fertile terrain, somewhere between Malcolm Holcombe’s shamanistic intensity and Van Morrison’s gruff soul. carymorin.com

NAIMA SHALHOUB, Siphr (self-released): ★★★★

The Bay Area artist’s 2015 album “Live in San Francisco County Jail” focused on inspirational folk and gospel and social justice anthems; her first studio album likewise works with American and Middle Eastern folk forms, albeit on a more expansive musical canvas stretched out by cellist Ed Baskerville, bassist Marcus Shelby, and especially oudist/lead guitarist/percussionist Tarik Kazaleh aka Excentrik. Singing in Arabic and English, Shalhoub nimbly navigates blues, jazz and folk rhythms while tracing borders and connections between beliefs, cultures and heritages through nine interlinked tracks. The most potent — “Two (Rivers in the Desert),” “Four (Roumieh Prison Blues),” “Six (Distraction Suite)” — are those where stringed instruments and Kazaleh’s frame drum conjure environments both compelling and transporting. Naimashalhoub.com

COURTNEY MARIE ANDREWS, Old Flowers (Fat Possum): ★★★★

The restless singer-songwriter’s seventh album sustains the emotional integrity and compositional excellence of 2016’s “Honest Life” and 2018’s “May Your Kindness Remain,” extracting cathartic beauty from heartbreak bandaged in image-rich lyrics and simple country-folk melodies and arrangements. Standout tracks such as “Burlap String,” “Together or Alone” and piano-centered tearjerker “How You Get Hurt” feel like old friends, the kind who’ll commiserate deep into the late hours when memories stir and sympathetic ears get you through the night. courtneymarieandrews.com

PAUL KELLY & PAUL GRABOWSKY, Please Leave the Light On (Cooking Vinyl): ★★★½

Beloved Australian songwriter Kelly and celebrated jazz pianist Grabowsky salute inspiring icons — Tony Bennett and Bill Evans, Frank Sinatra and Nelson Riddle — throughout this elegantly produced set. Grabowsky ramps up the rhythmic playfulness of Kelly’s “Sonnet 138” (reprised from his Shakespearean 2016 EP “Seven Sonnets & a Song”) and responds to the title track’s yearning with restrained finesse, while Kelly’s rhythmic, interpretive phrasing and exquisite opener “True to You” (the only new Kelly song) beg for more jazzy explorations. paulkelly.com.au, paulgrabowsky.com.au