Rock & Pop

Erin McKeown/Jenn Grant

When: Thu., Jan. 24, 8 p.m. 2013

Musicians often make their best music when freed from the shackles of a label deal. That’s certainly the case with singer-songwriter Erin McKeown, who left Nettwerk in 2007 to release music through her own imprint. McKeown, who studied at Brown University, embraces the DIY approach in all its glory on her terrific new album, Manifestra, a wildly eclectic affair that she funded through a campaign she ran on PledgeMusic. The album features a bit of everything. It commences with “The Politician,” a somber tune that has a funky keyboard riff at its core and bears elements of Aimee Mann. McKeown switches musical directions in a hurry on the following tune, the piano ballad “Proof,” and then she unleashes her string section in the cinematic “Histories.” And just when you think the album can’t become any more diverse, she gets all funky and kooky on the freewheeling, Los Lobos-like “The Jailer.” And just to keep her long-time folk fans happy, she issued a separate disc featuring acoustic renditions of all of Manifestra’s songs. (Jeff Niesel)

Price: $13 ADV, $15 DOS

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