David Wall The Spell I Was Under

David Wall is a long-time and multi-talented fixture in the Canadian independent music scene. The former lead singer of the Bourbon Tabernacle Choir and member of the Jewish ensemble the Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band has spent his much of his time lately writing music for film and television and composing songs for artists such as Big Sugar. Wall’s rich, bluesy voice is perfectly suited to the rollicking gospel and R&B numbers on his second solo record, The Spell I Was Under, but his songwriting is at its strongest when he’s in a low-key frame of mind. The moody opening track "Fortify Me” has a dark, beckoning undercurrent that is impossible to escape. Another highlight, the quirky "Have No Fear,” co-written with Broken Social Scene’s Andrew Whiteman and filmmaker Avi Lewis, is a lullaby sung over sweeping Salvation Army band-style horn harmonies that get right into your chest and squeeze hard. An unpredictable but frequently resplendent collection. (Black Hen)