Hope Sandoval has always been a siren of mood rings. Her preternatural, airy soprano is not just the voice of her recordings – it’s the primary instrument and candelabra-holding guide into the paisley, evanescent universe she lives in. Through the Devil Softly, Sandoval’s first work in eight years, is an aural opium den (see “For the Rest of Your Life”) so haunting, so delicate and meditative it’s a wonder that spell-casting crystals and dreamcatchers aren’t pre-packaged with the album. One can imagine Sandoval and Warm Inventions partner Colm Ó Cíosóig (My Bloody Valentine) delighting in a midnight bonfire strumming circle on the beach, with just the moon and tides as inspiration for their warm-blooded, hypnotic journey into the in-between where she hangs darkly and Mother Nature smiles down in gratitude. “Sets the Blaze,” “Trouble,” “Bluebird,” “Satellite” and “Fall Aside” are the perfect soundtracks to sitting alone in your blue room or late Sunday afternoon lounging in a field of lillies. Don’t flee this Devil; embrace the breathtaking aurora that awaits you on the other side. (Nettwerk Records) –Carrie Alison