November 7, 2013
Heart-breaking collection of Mother Drake’s fireside compositions released on vinyl for the first time.
Spare a thought for Ravi Coltrane, Nancy Sinatra, Ziggy Marley and, to a lesser extent Enrique Iglesias. As far as musicians are concerned, the list of offspring who struggle to forge careers in the shadow of their parents’ achievements is long and somewhat demoralising. However, it’s not often that you see the phenomenon reversed, as it has been here with the release of an eponymous collection of Molly Drake’s home recordings.
A pianist, poet and songwriter in her own right, Molly Drake was an obvious inspiration for Nick during his childhood, throughout which she would regularly perform for family and friends in their living room. It was in this same room that, with the help of her husband Rodney, she recorded a series of short compositions direct to tape, nineteen of which now comprise her first ever release.
Rescued by Joe Boyd – Drake’s legendary producer who oversaw Five Leaves Left and Bryter Later – the recordings, which were released on Bryter Music earlier this year, have finally found their way onto vinyl courtesy of boutique label Squirrel Thing. Restored to the format for which these painfully nostalgic pieces are most suited, Molly Drake is a poignant and appealing document of the domestic life that fed one of the most important singer songwriters of all time.
Molly’s vignettes exhibit a keen ear for the tender lyricism and quiet dignity that can be heard across her son’s greatest recordings, a haunting prequel to what was a tragically short-lived career. Described by Boyd as “the missing link in the Nick Drake story”, Molly Drake’s recordings stand alone as daguerreotypes from a by-gone age, telling more than any biography could.
Presented in a beautiful die-cut jacket, Molly Drake is out now on Squirrel Thing Recordings. You can listen to “I Remember” below.