Though the major-label version of Alice Smith‘s 2006 indie debut, For Lovers, Dreamers & Me, was released by Epic Records last year, the New York singer-songwriter remains one of the city’s best-kept secrets. That may be because it’s difficult to appreciate the breadth of her majestic four-octave voice without witnessing her perform live. Indeed, Smith hails from the old school of throaty chanteuses — not unlike her beau, bluesy soul singer Citizen Cope, her talent shines brightest on stage. That’s why I’m looking forward to catching her acoustic set tonight at Manhattan’s legendary Blue Note jazz club, where she’ll preview two new cuts called “Loyalty” and “So Bad” from her forthcoming follow up CD. No firm release date has been set for the new album, but Smith expects it’ll drop some time next year. “I’m past halfway done,” she told me when we chatted on the phone yesterday. “I have no working title and no end in sight, but my plan is to finish it by the end of winter and get it out by May or June.” Just in time to enter heavy rotation on my summer lovin’ playlist.