His voice . . . that voice. His guitarmanship (yes, that’s a neologism, so sue me), his lyrics — all knock me out. No other musician has ever effected me viscerally as Nick Drake has. It angers me when someone says his music is doleful or melancholy or even depressing. It’s anything but. I have a theory as to why folks say and think that. Because the music is so emotional. It connects and people usually only recognize feeling and soul sentience when they are or something’s sad. I defy you to find a more beautiful love song than Northern Sky. And other songs evoke feelings I can’t really identify, see Poor Boy. The sax solo alone (granted, not Nick) is dangerous. And Man in a Shed escapes all description, especially as to the reaction(s) it inspires but it’s palpable and tenable. In me. I defy you to find any guitar player he sounds like.
I’ve wanted to devote a podcast to Sir Nick (I knighted him, so sue me again) since I started this, so I have now. He was just 26 when he died perhaps of an overdose of an antidepressant; folks still dispute it. He’s only three albums to his name: Five Leaves Left, Bryter Layter and Pink Moon. The holy trilogy. The glorious troika. His effect on me is without peer. The rent on my soul (corny, fine) is permanent. What it does to me neurologically is phenomenal. William Congreve reminds me of how it indeed soothes the savage breast. (That’s breast, not beast, Sparky.)
Nick Drake has influenced more musicians and just plain folks (like Brad Pitt and Heath Ledger) than you can imagine. With just three albums in that evanescent lifespan.
There are some other less lofty features on the ‘cast as well, e.g. Bieber’s paternity litigation, The (Herman) Cain mutiny and stuff. But the thrust is about Drake and the absolute power of music.
There are some mandatory Nick Drake works including this 2002 Jeroen Berkvens documentary A Skin Too Few: The Days of Nick Drake (nicely subtitled in Spanish).
Lost Boy – In Search of Nick Drake was narrated by Brad Pitt and broadcast in January 2005 and on BBC Radio and is is no longer available on its site. But thank you, YouTube. See infra and enjoy.