The Fakeout, the Tease and the Breather, by Canasta

It takes guts to kick off an album with a seven-minute track, but Canasta re­wards the listener who hangs in there. "Becoming You" unfolds with patient pop majesty, recalling Belle & Sebastian or the Decemberists as it evokes a warm spring morning shaking off the frost.

Small Source of Comfort, by Bruce Cockburn

Bruce Cockburn is a singer-songwriter of extraordinary perception and wit.

Beyond versatile

Rob Clearfield

Every so often there's a new talent who sounds like bottled lightning. Chicagoan Rob Clearfield, not yet 30, is blessed as well with a relentless work ethic.