I’ve never thought to wonder whether William D Drake was born in England, but The Rising of the Lights makes me wonder. I take my very English version of national pride (faint smugness rather than any sort of nastiness) as being a by-product of not being born here. You have to an outsider to really appreciate a place. The Rising of the Lights is as English as tea-and-scones and cricket on the village green. It’s the absurdity of Spike Milligan and Monty Python (Drake used to be in Cardiacs, to give an indication of its eccentricity) – but has the whiff of melancholy that you get with wilting flowers at the end of the Harvest Festival.
Based around intricate arrangements for piano, each lush and playful tune is richly drenched in layers of sound. Woodwind, that sort of thing. Are The Divine Comedy English or Irish? I forget. Fans of Neil Hannon’s music will love this, too.
If you haven’t read Lucy Cage’s phenomenal review of this album, head over to Collapse Board to read it now.