Lauren Denitzio channels the spirit of punk music she extolled through her work with The Measure [SA] into something disarmingly soft but no less fatal a stab. “Precarity Rules” is built from country-worn, lo fi guitar smudges that translate into a raspy rhythm part and quick fingered arpeggios. Denitzio’s voice is wrecked with a powerful ache, and though “Precarity Rules” has a honeysuckle sweetness to it, it’s just the topmost coat of paint on something much denser and more spiritually fulfilling. “Punk” has always been political, but when the vocals ring in clear as Georgia daybreak, it’s even harder not to shut up and listen.
Cruel Optimist is out now via Don Giovanni.