Nick Drake: a melancholic influence on Alien Skin music
Nick Drake was an English singer songwriter and a brilliantly unique guitarist. Troubled with depression, it eventually forced his death in 1974.
After 3 albums, beginning with 'Five Leaves Left' in 1969, and virtually unknown as an artist (he loathed performing in public) the 26 year, allegedly, old took his own life in his parent's home, suffering deep depression.
The merit of his musical acumen and later influence, only manifested after his death. It was in the mid 1980's that notable artists (The Cure, David Sylvian, Paul Weller, The Dream Academy/'Life In A Northern Town', etc) began referencing Drake, bringing his name to a wider audience and to critical acclaim, so much so that his albums have been placed in the top 100, all time best, by the British music press.
I first discovered Drake in the 1990s. He had an immediate affect on me. Obviously not electronic, but the honesty and beauty in his songs, in his voice and his skillful guitar playing, resonated enough within me to consider him a timeless artist of rare clarity & sad emotion. A melancholic musical kinship exists with him. In the way he presents his songs you can tell why people, like David Sylvian, were drawn to him too. Another notable, Robert Smith explained how he named 'The Cure' after a line from Drake's song 'Time Has Told Me' "...a troubled cure for a troubled mind."
Nick Drake is not a household name, but has posthumously earned his reputation as an important artist who crafted gorgeous music, sometimes painful to listen to but nonetheless beautiful and sensitive. I'd like to think that you can relate to his work, to at least some of the degree, that I continue to do.
I've included a small selection of songs I found on YouTube for you to begin your exploration of this man's work. Nick Drake has certainly influenced Alien Skin, even if not immediately obvious.
Nick Drake released 3 albums in his lifetime: listen on Spotify.
Five Leaves Left (1969)
Bryter Layter (1970)
Pink Moon (1972)
Some more info on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Drake
An excellent 47 minute Nick Drake documentary from 2000
Finally, his mother, Molly Drake, while not a professional singer/songwriter wrote and sang for her own pleasure and that of her family's. Home tapes of her from the 1950s have been recently digitally released. The influence she had on her son is very apparent upon listening to a collection of her songs issued as the album 'Molly Drake'. Listen to the album on Spotify.