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Dan Bejar, aka Destroyer, intrigues with 'Five Spanish Songs'

| Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, 1:41 a.m.

‘Five Spanish Songs'

Destroyer (Merge)

★★★★

Though his contributions to indie supergroup the New Pornographers may be what he's best remembered for, Dan Bejar's solo work as Destroyer makes for an intriguingly eclectic way to spend an afternoon. As my colleague Brian Krasman noted in his review of Destroyer's 2011 gem “Kaputt,” “no one can predict where (Bejar's) musical mind will travel next.”

Right on cue, Destroyer serves up aptly titled EP “Five Spanish Songs” in which Bejar tackles a handful of songs penned by Sr. Chinarro frontman Antonio Luque.

As is the case with most Destroyer projects, the experiment works as Bejar puts his unique stamp on “Maria de Las Nevas,” personal favorite “El Rito,” “Babieca” and “Bye Bye.”

I can't understand many of the Spanish lyrics, but it's a darn good EP nevertheless.

‘Desert Skies'

Beachwood Sparks (Alive)

★★★½

Los Angeles rockers Beachwood Sparks have spent more than a decade dabbling in the jangly country rock that came of age in the late 1960s and early ‘70s. With “Desert Skies,” fans can see how it all started. Recorded in 1997-98, this “lost” record has held up well and tunes such as the title track, “Time,” “Watery Moonlight” and “Midsummer Daydream” are worthy additions to their résumé.

‘In Your Care'

Bright Light Bright Light (self-released)

★★★½

Welsh electronic pop musician Rod Thomas, aka Bright Light Bright Light, exploded onto the scene with “Make Me Believe in Hope” last year and builds on that momentum with “In Your Care.” The title track appears twice on the five-track release, opening the set in its original synth-fueled incarnation and an even better solo piano version to bring the EP to a close.

‘Colour My Heart'

Charlotte OC (self-released)

★★★★

Twenty-two-year-old Brit Charlotte OC is poised for stardom. Her haunting “Colour My Heart” debut EP is a fully realized gathering of four songs that showcase her powerful voice and wise-beyond-her-years songwriting prowess. The title track is terrific, and Charlotte scores with “Hangover,” “Stolen” Car” and “Cut the Rope.”

‘Here to Stay: Best of 2000-2012'

John Hiatt (New West)

★★★★

Though many of his best tunes have been hits for the likes of Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and B.B. King, Three Dog Night and Iggy Pop, John Hiatt has crafted an impressive musical legacy. The 17-track “Here to Stay” focuses on Hiatt's output this millennium. Standouts include “Crossing Muddy Waters,” “My Baby Blue,” “The Open Road,” “Adios to California” and the previously unreleased title track.

Jeffrey Sisk is an editor for Trib Total Media.

Reach him at 412-664-9161 ext. 1952, or jsisk@tribweb.com.

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