Album Review | INDIE FOLK

Mike Wexler, ‘Dispossession’

Mike Wexler’s will be one of the more unlikely voices to silence rowdy rock club crowds in 2012. It’s an enchanted, unassuming, androgynous exhalation, steered through its chantlike melodies the way memory might guide you through the cadence of a prayer. In this, Wexler’s second album, you will hear in it some Nico and Cyann, as well as some Elliott Smith and Scott Walker - yet for all his voice’s associative force and restrained presence, it falls across the songs on “Dispossession’’ more like light than a lead vocal. This photic feel is carried out elsewhere, in the titles of “Lens’’ and “Spectrum,’’ but also in the way sprawling songs like “Liminal’’ wind and wend in and out of the shadows. An organ chord smolders like a dying fire in the background of the six-minute stretch of opener “Pariah,’’ and Wexler’s voice carries the hushed intensity of an arsonist. And the second half of “Lens’’ - a collapsing vista of pianos, brass, and synths - drops like a sudden daybreak: “Future coming clearer in the looking glass,’’ he sings as the dust clears. Wexler honors the past, but far from staring into its sun, “Dispossession’’ feels like a trusty flashlight that can only point forward. (Out now) — MICHAEL BRODEUR