I’m listening to a lot of music these days.

Today, for instance, I need some inspiring music while I fill out interview questions about Raven’s Ladder that have been sent by various bloggers.  (Look, I appreciate your attention to my novel, but please, do everybody a favor and avoid asking the questions that a dozen bloggers have already asked about it. There are so many interesting things we could talk about.)

Anyway, I’m enjoying these three new releases…

Produced by Beck, Charlotte Gainsbourg’s new album IRM almost convinces you that the two are teaming up to become a serious band, like M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel’s “She & Him” outfit. And it works. It may be the most lushly orchestrated pop Beck’s crafted since Sea Change, and that’s a good thing.

Patti Griffin’s Downtown Church doesn’t have the edge or the imagination of her last couple of solo albums, but its high-spirited gospel number are pleasant enough.

Mercy! Sometimes you pick something up, knowing nothing about it, put it on, and realize you’ve struck gold. I’m going to be playing this very loudly in the car for a long time to come. Big, bold. spacious rock that has me all nostalgic for the punkish highs of early Sinead O’Connor. Loud, raw, and alive with literary threads drawn from fairy tales… my kind of stuff.