White Magic Dat Rosa Mel Apibus

More than two years after the release of their delightful EP Through the Sun Door, Brooklyn’s White Magic return with a full-length album of deeper variation in sound and execution. Most of the record is led by a piano that is both clunking and regal, a perfect match for singer Mira Billotte’s ultra-feminine and robust alto. Billotte is at times lost in her own drones, when wrapping her voice around the sitar’s whirls on "All the World Wept,” and becomes alternately lofty and authoritative on the title track, where she seems to warn of the rose that gives the bees honey. By the time we make it to "Katie Cruel,” the album’s first single and a traditional number that has been interpreted by the likes of Bert Jansch and Karen Dalton, it is easy to give in to Ms. Billotte’s incantatory spell. This album has White Magic pared down to the duo of Billotte and guitarist Douglas Shaw, with guest appearances from Samara Lubelski (on violin) and Tim DeWit of double-drumming art jammers Gang Gang Dance. The latter’s sonic touch is most distinctly heard on the final track, "Song of Solomon,” which is full of spaced-out psychedelic dub that occasionally veers into sprightly Kate Bush territory. If the world were a wiser place, this would be the song blasting out of every car, window and radio. (Drag City)