Elettricita (Secretly Canadian)

A Dallas native who recently returned to the area after living in California for the past three years, Havergal--the one-man band of Ryan Murphy--is also returning to record stores with a sophomore effort that treasures sparseness and repetition over traditional structures. The Bright Eyes-esque highlight "Drowned Men" runs on a solitary hypnotic guitar lick mixed with bittersweet piano, with Murphy's soft country twang adding sighing resignation to lines like "I had a wish that washed away/You can hardly see another better side of me." Elsewhere, ominous backmasking and sun-blistered guitars drive "Burn Up the Bay," hymn-solemn textures flash within "Slugs in the Sun" and eerie trip-hopping drum loops and anxiety-riddled electronic flourishes make "Parachutes" irresistible. Elettricita's sprawling songs and meandering ideas aren't for those lacking an attention span. But when it's 3 a.m., and you're the only night owl awake haunted by the ghosts of past lovers and unassailable regrets, its droning soundscapes are the perfect companion.

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