Hasidic alt-rapper Zeke Finn has released a new single entitled “Under the Willow“. The song was co-written and recorded with Finn’s longtime friend, singer-songwriter Avi Snow, while Finn’s father Mike Finn created the artwork.
“Under the Willow” is a dark, ethereal folk/soul ballad that, while not devoid of structure, eschews the typical verse/chorus format to create a drifting, dreamlike feel. The lyrics, which could be interpreted as a poetic telling of the Moses story (“Stay poised when your swimming upstream / Seems to me that you can be / The one who sets us free“), seem to revolve around ideas of being destined for greatness while trying to survive in an antagonistic world. There’s also a feeling of gritty persistence, as Finn repeats the refrain “Hold my breath, bite my tongue / Taste my blood, the work is never done“.
You can hear it on Soundcloud and Spotify below.
Being long removed from peak pop culture influence hasn’t stopped Matisyahu from continuing to impact the JM scene through a number of proteges. The latest of these is Ithaca-based indie rapper Zeke Finn, whose self-titled debut EP, produced by Stu Brooks, comes out today.
While Finn draws from a lot of the same wells as his mentor – hip-hop, reggae, alternative, jam – he has something a bit darker and weirder going on. Whereas Matis made his name as a friendly role model for the troubled youth, Zeke Finn IS that troubled youth, and he has no problem putting his very human flaws and confusion front and center, whether or not they’re going to get solved. Musically, his website says he grew up hearing hippie jam bands at GrassRoots Festival, and there’s very much a trippiness to his dream-pop-inspired beats that makes a delicious counterpoint to the confessional lyrics.
You can check out his video for “Plight”, featuring the Beardless One himself, below: