Both insisted that I buy the Neko Case Fox Confessor Brings the Flood album. I did (though from Emusic.com--though these links are to Amazon) and really like it. My favorite song right now is "Hold on, Hold on" though "The needle has landed" is stunning. I don't recall a more unique or powerful voice.
That said, however, my recent blog post on Brandi Carlile (odd that I am pushing a singer named "Brandi") and a conversation with my friend Mary reminded me how much I like Lone Justice and Maria McKee. I pulled out those albums and remembered how blown away I was when I first heard "east of eden," and "after the flood." Good stuff.
Zalm recommended Calexico's Garden Ruin and I read how many people were discussing this album. I saw Calexico play a song with Wilco at the ACL fest (they opened for them the night before--or so I heard) and they sounded great (if you like horns), but I was not filled with a strong urge to go out and buy their stuff. Then came Calexico's collaboration with Iron & Wine on In the Reins and I was intrigued. Now this album, which everyone seems to be in agreement marks a departure from their earlier stuff--in a very good way. While I am in no place to comment on that, I can say that I find myself wanting to listen to this album over and over.