Leslie Stevens takes her songwriting to another level on her latest album, Sinner, in which she delves into a wider variety of provocative and even controversial themes. The local singer has long been cherished for her luminous voice, which possess some of the unbridled, effusive sweetness of Dolly Parton mixed with a little of Stevie Nicks’ rueful tone. Stevens’ vocals soar majestically throughout the record’s varying moods, which includes contributions from guest singer Jenny O. (“Sylvie”) and a romantic duet with producer Jonathan Wilson (“Depression, Descent”) that invokes the televised spirit of Johnny Cash. With “The Tillman Song,” she boldly confronts the contradictions surrounding the death of football star Pat Tillman in Afghanistan via a strange and progressively multilayered track that builds psychedelically into a bizarrely poignant fever dream. With Anna Ash.
Moroccan Lounge, 901 E. First St., downtown L.A.; Sat., Aug. 17, 7 p.m.; $12. (213) 395-0610, www.themoroccan.com.