American music comes from the church, so it’s fitting that American Standard—a sampling of homegrown sounds spanning hollerin’ blues to the Replacements’ “Here Comes a Regular”—opens with a prayer. “I’ll be a great sage or a fabulous liar,” Dayna Kurtz sings on “Invocation,” pleading with “mama”—maybe her mother, maybe the Virgin Mary—to “let me come home.” Kurtz will take redemption however she can get it, and if there’s a theme on this record, that might be it. American Standard is one of two new albums from this New Jersey songstress, and on the strength of its originals, it edges out companion Secret Canon Vol. 1, which features obscure jazz covers. While Kurtz is an imaginative interpreter—dig the switchblade twang on the ’50s artifact “Lou Lou Knows”—she’s equally great on her own rockabilly rave-ups, malt-shop ballads and a cappella blues tunes. The closing “Election Day” is a revelatory New Orleans jazz tribute to our current president, and while Kurtz knows better than to sanctify anyone—not in the conflicted country described on “Billboards for Jesus”—she grants herself the moment of hopefulness that’s hers by national birthright.