Ben from Mali Mali told me that it would have been Nick Drake’s 68th birthday today.
I first heard of Nick Drake when a friend from Dunedin sent me a copy of Pink Moon. It’s rare for me to find an album that completely knocks me sideways, but there’s something incredibly refreshing about the album and it did just that. (Ironically, I was thrashing Radiohead’s OK Computer at the time which had a similar effect on me when I first heard it; have hardly listened to it since I heard Pink Moon.) With singing guitar and his beautifully thoughtful lyrics, Nick Drake became an instant influence on me. It was something about the way he breathed out line after line of poetry, as though it wasn’t a big deal to set music to lyrics that were instantly relatable, yet not trivial. I had the impression that you either had to be open (and then end up with cheesy or trite lyrics), or obfuscate (and then have everyone wondering what the heck you were talking about). Drake manages to be somewhere in the middle without being middle of the road.
Here’s ‘Pink Moon’ from the album of the same name.