Does XL know about this? Back in February Willis Earl Beal talked about his struggles with his label, and promised that his third album was almost done. Curious Cool might be that or just be a tossed-out collection of eight desolate, synth-driven laments ("Coriander Tree Life" was orphaned on Beal's YouTube channel soon after the release of his second album Nobody Knows.) Either way, the whole thing's engaging. Raw, unmixed sonics frequently hum along with droning organs and distort through Willis Earl Beal's howls, implanting a new and wretched pain to his already haunting vocals. For once, they're not enough to imagine life outside of Beal's latest isolation, and that makes it all the more affecting.