Best known for heading up the long-running desert-folk outfit Giant Sand—whose discography is as vast as a Southwestern sky—Arizona-based songwriter Howe Gelb is currently touring behind a stellar recent solo release. The Coincidentalist's 11 slow-burning tracks offer raw glimpses into the songwriter's tangled psyche. Musically, the album is stripped-down, even as Gelb outings go. With the assistance of M. Ward and Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley (the latter of whom joins Gelb for his current Southeastern tour) and guest spots from likeminded troubadour Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and Scottish songstress KT Tunstall, the record churns quietly underneath Gelb's quietly arresting voice, which both probes and puzzles. The Coincidentalist commands the listener to pay attention like few albums do.