Indie-Folk Done Right

06/23/2010 4:19 AM |

The Wailing Wall
Low Hanging Fruit
JDub Records

The Wailing Wall is the solo recording project of New York City’s Jesse Rifkin, an everything but the kitchen sink-style multi-instrumentalist with musical roots in Hindu chanting and Jewish mysticism—hints of which pop up all over Low Hanging Fruit. It’s a strange-sounding record that makes ample use of sitar and plenty of instruments you won’t have a shot at identifying. The most powerful of them all, though, is Rifkin’s voice, which stands up better than most to the all too common Jeff Magnum and Will Oldham comparisons. The energy level is generally high, the melodies are among the best you’ll hear all year, and the tone is pensive, questioning and slyly romantic, neatly summarized on the infectious “Bones Become Rainbows”: “There is no easy answer for the breath in my lungs, but it’s your name I recite in each song that I’ve sung, in each tambourine rattle, in each new chord I strum, in each crash of a cymbal, in each crack of a drum.” It’s music as celebration, as the reason for and answer to everything.