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Essential tracks: Corb Lund, and more songs you need to hear

POP

Ruin

Cat Power, from the forthcoming Sun; streaming at catpowermusic.com.

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Against a circular pian o motif and persistent rhythm, Chan Marshall's soft, airy vocals tell of her travels: Saudi Arabia, Calcutta, Mozambique, Istanbul, Rio and Rome. Clearly she and Steve ( Rock'n Me) Miller don't have the same travel agent.

BLUES

Oh Well

Billy Gibbons & Co., from the forthcoming Just Tell Me That You Want Me: Tribute to Fleetwood Mac; streaming at soundcloud.com.

"I can't sing, I ain't pretty and my legs are thin." The ZZ Top singer is gruff, grungy and much too hard on himself with this cow-belling blues-monster take on a Peter Green-penned classic.

ROOTS/POP

We Can't Have Nice Things

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Kelly Hogan, from I Like to Keep Myself in Pain (Anti-); streaming at kellyhogan.com.

Breezy textures only slightly disguise the sigh of resignation and a sad shrug. Shades of Shelby Lynne, on broken dreams and whisky glasses that leave coffee-table rings.

POP

Theory of Relatively

Stars, from the forthcoming The North; streaming at starsthenorth.com.

This isn't something Einstein chalkboarded out. A darkly bubbling, time-traveling shimmer-song references the eighties musically and the nineties lyrically, with a message that is typically Stars, for all times and ages: "Don't be scared."

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COUNTRY

Gettin' Down on the Mountain

Corb Lund, from the forthcoming Cabin Fever; streaming at youtube.com.

A bush-bearded cowboy goes through hell to get to high water, trampling through woods and snow exhaustively. When the oil stops, city life is doomed and head-to-the-hills self-sufficiency is the answer: "I think I see a rip in the social fabric – brother can you spare some ammo?"

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About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More

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