Friday, July 10, 2009
English singer-songwriter Nick Drake passed away thirty-five years ago. Drake was never properly embraced in his time. His first three recordings on Island Records sold less than 5,000 copies each during the time of their release. Posthumously, his impressive catalog has come to be revered as it should have been originally. Exhibiting fingerpicking prowess, subtle and crisp arrangements, striking melodies, and a feathery vocal delivery, Drake and his songs have become iconic.
For all those Drake aficionados that never got to see him perform, along comes Alexi Murdoch. While I will never directly compare the two, fans of Drake or songwriting in general should take notice of Murdoch. The Scottish-born songwriter often makes listeners do a doubletake, or simply assume they are listening to a rarely heard Drake song.
It doesn't help that Murdoch's most well known song, Orange Sky, sounds strikingly similar in name and content to Drake's most well known song, Pink Moon, and the two-chord strumming on Drake's Northern Sky. Murdoch also shares Drake's introverted nature, living in a secluded environ, and rarely touring.
Apart from the similarities, Murdoch's work deserves attention in its own right. His guitar playing and songwriting chops are strong and growing. He recently contributed the music for Sam Mendes's Away We Go. Better yet, he's here now (even if secluded). Let's listen to Murdoch's "All My Days" live from NYC's Mercury Lounge...