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Cat Power, Domino

After a contretemps with her previous employer, who had hopes that Chan Marshall aka Cat Power would go mainstream, she took her new album elsewhere.

The songs on Wanderer are great, grounded in folk, blues and other American roots music – it’s not such a stretch to imagine the a cappella title track stripped of its ghostly echo and performed by a church choir back in Marshall’s native Georgia – but they never seem reverent or forced. It feels instead as if Marshall is drawing on music that comes naturally to her and shaping it to her own ends.

Whether it seems like music that might have existed nearly a century ago or music that could only have been made in 2018, the sound of Wanderer is stripped back but inviting, intimate rather than austere. Marshall’s malt-whiskey voice flows around the guitar and pianos, earthy, smoky and warming even when she’s singing some pretty chilling lyrics. These are complex songs, striking but low-key . There’s...

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