In 2010, after Bay Area-bred songster Vienna Teng had established herself with four albums of somber, sumptuously layered, piano-driven panoramas — think The Civil Wars and Tori Amos with overtones of Hazards-era Decemberists — she walked away for a graduate degree in environmental studies and business at the University of Michigan. Settled in Detroit, Teng returns to music with her first set in four years, Aims. One might assume, given the status of that city, that it would be a bleak opus — but one would be wrong. Like a true artist, Teng finds beauty in spite of a difficult reality. "The Hymn of Acxiom" is one of the loveliest songs you'll hear this year: Imagine the Cocteau Twins doing a J.S. Bach motet.