Jolie Holland 

With album titles like Springtime Can Kill You and the newly minted The Living and the Dead, Jolie Holland must be stoked for Día de los Muertos. Holland's death-tinged tunes echo the eerie traditionalism of Tom Waits. More than just an influence, Waits figures into her career arc: Her homemade 2003 debut album, Catalpa, earned his praises and was snatched up by Waits' label, Anti-. On Holland's latest record, the ancient tongues of folk, jazz and blues are melded into rock and roll, with the ubiquitous M. Ward lending a hand. It's the perfect time of year for songwriting that conjures the restless ghosts of beat poets and forgotten bluesmen.

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