by Justin (@justasstrazdin)
Label: Squirrel Thing / Alimentation - March 5, 2013
(Sorry nerds, no vinyl, but both CD's come with liner notes and poetry book.)
Style: Painted Portrait Where the Eyes Move, Haunted Home Studio, Ouija Board Lyrics Generator
Audience: Milk Bath with Opium & Honey Crowd, Gents Who Relax with Lipstick, Nostalgic Grandmothers, Ghost Hunters with an M.A. in Literature
I doubt anyone approaches this collection without acknowledging that Molly Drake birthed Nick Drake, and in turn got him into music. She kept a reel-to-reel recorder in the home, and Nick used it for some home recordings released in the 2007 collection Family Tree. Molly died in 1993, but two of her songs made that album because her daughter, Gabrielle, cashed in with grace and style to reveal more about Nick and Molly's lives and music. In 2013, nineteen of Molly's private songs (including the two on Family Tree) were quietly released to show that Nick's craft ran in the family.
The album opens with the sad words, "Happiness is like a bird with twenty wings / Try to catch him as he flies." Look at the album cover for a moment. A regular portrait, for an album of regular music, yet there's a haunting and fragile quality to her lyrics, led by a husky, yet quivering voice. Her son's early death may have a lot to do with my lyrical interpretation, as it is tempting to analyze a musical family's individual works on the basis of the lives and misfortunes. Their voices share tonal similarities and their writing often feels dark.