Thursday, July 21, 2011

A song a day: Nick Drake – Things behind the sun

I’m not sure that there’s anything left to say about Nick Drake – his work has been analysed, championed and defended to death. In the context of that, I thought I’d just briefly mention my favourite Nick Drake song which is Things behind the sun. For me, it’s a perfect illustration of how the simple set up of guitar and voice can be more moving than a song crammed with instruments and effects. The guitar line has an incredible mood to it – it’s almost indefinable but it is affecting instantaneously while Drake’s has a sombre wistfulness that cuts through the song. The music itself seems at turns powerful and fragile, there are moments when he’s changing chords where there is a milli-second of silence. No doubt this would be edited out as a slip-up these days but at its base this is a very human sounding song – you can hear fingers on strings, the mistakes and the song breathing in the best possible way.


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