Americana experimentalist discovers a diverse yet singular sound

There are few sounds one can file under Americana that Valerie June hasn't played with: driving, bluesy rock 'n' roll; the shared, intertwining roots of slave balladry and haunting Appalachian folk; Mazzy Star's blurry love lost; Billie Holiday's blood on the leaves, and on and on. Most compelling, however, is June's voice. Reminiscent of the aforementioned Holiday, it is a little too thin and a little too reedy, but the flaws only add to her charm and character. The overwhelming realness of a woman and artist rising above her influences and creating in her latest, The Order of Time, is something compelling and new and wholly hers. (Safe bet)