★★★★ Foxhole Prayers IDOL. CD/DL/LP Twelfth album from Dallas indie-folk singer.
Intending to be a novelist, Vanessa Peters got sideswiped when guitars felt as good as pens, and now her pounding, melodic tracks have the intensity of short stories: laconic, gut-punching. This outing rails against Trump and populism, but it’s also about fighting internal anxiety and resentment. As a mellow vocalist mixing Natalie Merchant, Aimee Mann, even Lucinda Williams, Peters swings into Get Started full of hope about making your own luck if you’re determined enough; raucous, guitar-borne stormer Lucky follows through, so hooky you could play it forever. Fight, though, admits fear of career failure (“The rabbit I’ve been chasing/ Is further away, and I’m tired…”), and the grim, straferidden title track sees the lot of us in a metaphorical trench. Carnival Barker, starring Trump as a cheap carny grifter, would be funny if it didn’t sting. Bolshy, blazing letters from the new front line. Glyn Brown