(06.2007, Amish Records)
Mike Wexler, New York's frog-voiced wonder, has finally followed up his superb self titled EP with a full length debut: Sun Wheel. Continuing on his unique strain of outsider folk, Sun Wheel is a seasoned accomplishment filled with genuine songwriting genius. Wexler's heroics lie in his simplicity. Stripped down to guitar, piano and drums, Sun Wheel allows nothing to obstruct the heart of its songs – except perhaps Wexler's voice. Yet, even with his vocal eccentricities there is really nothing overtly bizarre about these recordings. The songs on Sun Wheel could have easily and happily been released along side Nick Drake. Nick Drake is actually a good reference point here. Sun Wheel, while maintain its own distinctness is on par with the mood and feel of Drake's Five Leaves Left. With eight songs filling out the whole of Sun Wheel, Wexler seems to have made a deliberate case to control his efforts into a singular statement. Sun Wheel is the most successful when Wexler allows himself to up the tempo slightly and employ drums, which that were mostly absent on his debut EP. Songs like "Cipher", "Southern Cross" and "Pneuma" accomplish this well. With Sun Wheel, Wexler has created an amiable cult classic of soft natured October folk that deserves plenty of attention.
Mike Wexler - "Cipher"