BY FRED MILLS
Fronted by the big-throated, touch-o-country-but-pop-tilting namesake singer who brings to mind, at various points Neko Case, Jenny Lewis and Bettie Serveert’s Carol Van Dyk, Chicago’s Roxy Swain (the band) hit the musical sweet spot so many times on its sophomore platter that you’d swear Roxy Swain (the aforementioned frontwoman) has been peeking in your window, staring at your record shelves, looking for clues as to how she might seduce you. That she does, on such gems as the yearning, tremolo-guitar-and-synth-laced “Impossible Wait,” the insistently twangy/jangly “Tonight” (which, we are advised, is a love letter to Big Star; the tune holds its own), and the deep blue, spookysexycool “Salt and Smoke,” a vocal tour de force for Swain that additionally allows her band to flex its instro muscles as if they were a Stax or Muscle Shoals house band backing up a visiting soul superstar.
You want spookysexycool? Check the orange wax for this LP, what with its sneaky white (as in, “smoky”) swirls pressed within. It’s vinyl collector catnip.
DOWNLOAD: “Tonight,” “Salt and Smoke”