Indie Britannia Undergrowth

The Underground of Happiness says

MONDAY, MAY 9, 2011 William D. Drake – Rising of the lights (Onomatopoeia Records)

Some more beauties now plucked from the fog of the recent monthly round-up. Here’s what I know about William D. Drake. He used to be in English band Cardiacs. He’s obviously interested in English folk and medieval music – I have a hunch he enjoys silent film soundtracks too. His music is playful and quite surreal, but not at the expense of passion and energy. The instrumental track Ziegler starts like a Buster Keaton chase sequence (with twirling clarinet) before becoming very like the theme tune to (the fondly remembered Irish children’s tv programme) Wanderly Wagon.

He’s a fantastic piano player, who sounds like he’d be right at home with jazz, classical, traditional or any other genre you’d like to throw at him. The song Ornamental hermit concerns the (presumably discontinued, although you never know) practice of wealthy English families keeping a hermit on their grounds. The title of the album refers to a disease found in 18th century London. Super altar is a medieval harpsichord melody glued together with a post-punk organ solo. On the other hand, In an ideal world is a plainly beautiful piano ballad. Overall, the album is warm, funny and hard to pin down. Not to worry, because above all it’s get-under-your-skin pop music.

Learn to love it like a warm memory.

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