The Jerry Cans: Inuusiq

The ties that bind the disparate genres of the Jerry Cans’ third album—country and folk, rock and reggae—are the people, families and language of Canada’s Nunavut territory. Fronted by native Inuktitut speaker Nancy Mike (vocals, throat singing, accordion) and her husband Andrew Morrison (lead vocals, main songwriter, guitar), who learned the album’s primary language as a condition of marriage, the five-person band gives a tundra texture to every song, using music as a bridge between tradition and modernity … More The Jerry Cans: Inuusiq

Actores Alidos: Galanìas

For the polyphonic quintet Actores Alidos, songs may entertain but they serve primarily as rhythmic frames for human activity—work, banter, celebration, telling love stories, amusing or calming children, lamenting loss and expressing faith. The women are based in Quartu Sant’Elena, Sardinia, and perform traditional and contemporary works that give voice to the island’s women. Led by vocal soloist and arranger Valeria Pilia, they sing in Sardinian—a cappella or accompanied … More Actores Alidos: Galanìas

Ruth Keggin: Turrys

A passionate artist and pillar of the Manx-language revival movement, Ruth Keggin is blessed with a voice that floats gently as it penetrates deeply. Turrys (Journey), her second album, is both a voyage across the diminutive Isle of Man and also part of a quest measured in generations. Her universal themes—nature, work, romance, celebration, leaving home—have a strong sense of place, and while her songs rely mainly on Manx tradition she also … More Ruth Keggin: Turrys

Prince Royce: Five

Most of Prince Royce’s career as a singer and songwriter has been dedicated to bachata, but with an open window letting in subtle flavors from outside. The Bronx-born son of Dominican parents, Royce has released albums in Spanish and English, switching back and forth with a dexterity undoubtedly fueled by the mental proximity of parallel vocabularies. On his fifth studio album, a collection of solo and duet love songs (mostly in Spanish), his … More Prince Royce: Five

Denise Studart: Joia Rara

Though the songs on Joia Rara (Rare Jewel) have the feel of classics, the album’s 10 tracks are actually new compositions on a debut album. In her smooth, sweet voice, Denise Studart animates the works of composer Sandor Buys—samba and other Brazilian styles—in a seamless bonding of fresh and déjà vu. Peço licença (An Offer of Samba) has an Afro-samba swing, accentuated by percussion and seven-string guitar: “My samba is for anyone who’d like … More Denise Studart: Joia Rara

Las Cafeteras: Tastes Like L.A.

Bob Dylan warned the Establishment that a raging battle would “soon shake your windows and rattle your walls/For the times they are a-changin.’” Five decades later, If I Was President, the signature protest track from Las Cafeteras’ new album, is likewise animated by the idea that anyone can imagine the power to repair the world: “Mr. President, I’ve come to make clear/That I don’t have the papers to work over here,” it begins, proceeding to a priority … More Las Cafeteras: Tastes Like L.A.

Jitka Šuranská Trio: Divé Husy

They are local and global, gifted artists who sing and play traditional Moravian songs together but with individual experience in diverse worlds—violinist Šuranská in the classical and folk realms; mandolinist Martin Krajíček in klezmer and Mexican music; and multi-instrumentalist Marian Friedl in jazz and theater. Divé Husy (Wild Geese) is a grand collection of proverbial wisdom that puts songs about humanity’s essentials—love, loss, freedom … More Jitka Šuranská Trio: Divé Husy

Seydu: Sadaka

With his smooth and generous voice, Seydu is poignant in singing about the impact of war, incisive in warning of corruption, reverent about the beauty of African women and upbeat regarding the power of a smile. Such themes animate Sadaka (The Gift), his third album, broadly focused on the redemptive power of giving. Born into a musical family in Sierra Leone—a nation scarred by the slave trade and, more recently, by blood diamonds … More Seydu: Sadaka

Émilie Janvier

She was a reality show star on Québec TV at 13 and comes from a musical family, but on Émilie Janvier’s eponymous debut album and in the interviews she’s done to promote it, she reveals her core shyness, crafting lyrics and music to channel feelings and tell stories that might otherwise remain hidden. If her acoustic pop/folk songs (with some well-placed country string pulls) can be defined with a single word, it’s warmth. She finds it romance, family … More Émilie Janvier

Flavia Coelho: Sonho Real

She is innocent and wise, a nomad and a poet, an alchemist of styles whose music is more colorful than the sum of its parts. Flavia Coelho, a girl from the slums of Rio de Janeiro who sang in the Paris métro and emerged a star, had none of the resources but all the energy and talent she needed. On Sonho Real (Dream Come True), her third album, she mixes elements of forró, ska, reggae and dub, spins … More Flavia Coelho: Sonho Real