Sound Check: October 2009

Meshell Ndegeocello‘s Oct. 6 album, Devil Halo, is a beautiful work of rhythm, blues and soul mixed with rock elements that would appeal to fans of any genre.

The 41-year-old musician is not only prolific on her tenth album, but heartachingly intense. Even though the sad longing of romance outweighs the happy moments on Devil’s Halo, the album is pleasant and lush.

If you think you knew Meshell before, you have only heard one side of her. Devil’s Halo is eclectic and incredibly addictive.

Indie artist Sarah Lipstate (under the moniker Noveller) recently released her 5-song EP, Red Rainbows. Using a double neck guitar to create staticy sounds, the abstract album is instrumental and ethereal.

Beware if you aren’t into songs without singing: this won’t be for you. However, if you’re into the likes of Kaki King, especially her first two albums, you’ll want to check out Noveller songs like "Brilliant Colors."

Chicago’s The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir suffered a horrible van crash while on tour last month and the band’s lesbian guitarist Mary Ralph broke her pelvis and collar bone in the accident. Unfortunately, this means their tour is on hold and they are struggling to pay medical bills already. Help out by purchasing the group’s new album, And The Horse You Rode in On, which is so worth your $10.

The first line on the album goes like this: "I hope that you catch syphilis and die alone." How can you not appreciate a pretty guitar melody with lyrics like that?

Not all their songs are silly, though. The new wave Joy Division-esque track One Night Stand is a dark and sexy song about having no strings attached: "No expectations, no demands, just your lips and my hands."

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