Regina Spektor has been dogged by the q-word—“quirky”—since she first started to attract national attention with the 2004 album Soviet Kitsch. It’s not like the tag doesn’t fit. In concert, Spektor’s been known to take drumsticks to her piano, and she fills her songs with imagery that’s one part Lou Reed New York grit to four parts Gabriel García Márquez magical realism. On 2009’s Far, there’s even a song that devolves into dolphin noises. But it doesn’t take a high tolerance for preciousness to appreciate Spektor; her tender, piano-based ballads are at once familiar and oddly intriguing, working like pained arias sung with quiet folkie conviction and lots of pop idiosyncrasy. Expect some new material soon, as Spektor’s sixth album, What We Saw From The Cheap Seats, is due in May.