Yew’s Paw

William D Drake – Yew’s Paw

This is where it all started for Onomatopoeia and it seems like yesterday. Released as a companion piece, and on the same day, as sister album Briny Hooves in February 2007. They said we were mad..but we thought it showed off, in fine style, 2 of the many sides of Mr Drake’s myriad musical talents. Have a listen below and then we’ll tell you more.

Tracklisting:
Yew’s Paw
Pipistrelle
Sylvie’s Proof
Glassy I
Louisville
At The Harbour Wall
Todonkin
Short And Sweet, Like A Donkey’s Gallop
Stone Carnation
Ubi Sum
Within My Skull
The Kissing Song
Ralspark

At The Harbour Wall was later covered by friends North Sea Radio Orchestra for their wonderful album Birds. NSRO’s Sharron Fortnam also designed the artwork for Yew’s Paw.

Thank you for your support and please feel free to spread the word.

Reviews

Sunday Telegraph – February 18th 2007

William D Drake

Briny Hooves

SheBear Records

****

Arch, obscure, parochial, hauntingly nostalgic and deeply odd, ‘Briny Hooves’ is the very quintessence of quintessential Englishness. Drake used to be in the Cardiacs and if you’re a fan – especially their masterpiece A Little Man and a House and the Whole World Window – you’ll know what to expect: swirly organs, woozy brass, martial beats, strange key changes and a general aura of Gormenghast meets very early Genesis. I love this sort of tosh(you might well not.

James Dellingpole

————————————————————————————————————

Maverick Magazine – March 2007

William D Draek

Yew’s Paw

***

William D Drake

Briny Hooves

****

William D.Drake has released two albums that could not be more different form each other.

Yew’s Paw is a cycle of thirteen solo piano pieces from this extreamly talented composer, songwriter and musician. This is a tremendous showcase for his piano playing as well as his expertise at composing and songwiting and one of my favorites on the C has to be the lively Pipistrelle.

My only problem with this album is that it gets just too heavily classical for me, and I have to amit it goes over my head, but if you appreciateclassial music played on piano then this could b up your street.

Briny Hooves is completely different, and quite wonderfully eccentric and different! For one thing there I vocals!…but also the music is far removed from the classical tunes of it’s predecessor, and is in fat a mélange of varying styles.

One theme that does seem to run through the album is psychedelia, which is why it has had him compared to Syd Barrett and Nick Drake (who is a distant cousin). The excellently nightmarish sound of Wolves is almost Phanton of the Opera-ish, with his tortuous vocals being quite soul stirring.

The almost demented sounds of the quite brilliant Dark Ecstasies is definitely reminiscent of the late and very great Mr Barrett. Serendipity Doodah I more pop oriented, although still slightly psychedelic. The Seashell Song on the other hand is just a nice tune, almost making you think of the beach ona sunny day. A great album, not country, but still great.

David Knowles

————————————————————————————————————

Spark Magazine (Reading University)

William D Drake

Yew’s Paw

Onomatopoeia

***

+

Briny Hooves

SheBear

****

Well, this is interesting. Two different labels will release two albums by ex-Cardiac William D Drake on the same day, both being very ifferent sonically – Yew’s Paw is a collection of piano pieces as opposed to the showcase of vocal songs on Briny Hooves. Stylistically simple Yew’s Paw is free of any contemporary pressures and you can picture Drake having fun as he tinkles away or bangs the keys, music that conjures up silent cinema soundtracks and I can even hear a touch of Yan Tierson at times, especially on the title track.

Briny Hooves is a more successful and accomplished work, borrowing from the likes of Syd Barrett and Brian Wislon to make a very individual update on the psych-pop sounds of yesteryear. The opening ‘Wolves’ sets out the album’s blueprint succinctly, propped by a sample sounding like the boot-trudges of Sigur Ros’ ‘Hoppfpolla’ sped-up and ending with horns that’d make Primal Screem happy. Drake’s very English voice on top and adding edge as he dramatically repeats ‘it was everyday’. His vocals go on to show the Wislon influence on the sunny-sa ‘Ugly Fortress’ while the music boldly goes from the romanticism of ‘The Fountain’s Smoke’ to the excited magic of ‘Seashell Song’. The best bits though are when Drake rocks out and makes potential aci-pop hits like ‘Serendipity Doodah’ and ‘Seahorse’. So if you buy one William Drake album this year, make sure it’s Briny Hooves.

Giacomo Lee

————————————————————————————————————

Teletext Reviews

William D Drake / Briny Hooves 7/10

Revieed by John Earles

The second solo album by The Cardiac’s keyboardist, Drake takes in olde-worlde madrigals, psychadelia and a fruity Devandra Banhart-folk.

It’s a frequently dazzling mix, holding up well with Sfjan Steven’s love for daring to take on anything he fancies.

Drake’s voice is overbearing for too long; a plumy Rufus Wainwright, but it’s a treat for exploring the margins and coming back with cracking tunes.

————————————————————————————————————

Flux Magazine – Dec /.Jan 2007 Issue

William D Drake

Two new albums from the Cardiacs key man.

In Drake’s recordings you can hear psychadelia, madrigals, Jacobean poetry and sea shanties. He walks in the steps of a long line of respected but eccentric musicians such as Syd Barrett but does not retread old ground. And he’s been especially busy this year with two new albums released in February: ‘Briny Hooves’ is a complex and passionate record for all those who like strange delights; dreamlike, melancholic and heartfelt. Whilst ‘Yew’s Paw’ presents a cycle of 13 solo piano pieces, reminiscent of Prokofiev, Hindermith and contemporary jazz often within on piece.

‘Briny Hooves’ will be released on sheBear Records and ‘Yew’s Paw’ on Onomatopoeia, both on February 5th 2007.

————————————————————————————————————

The Guardian

2nd February 2007

William D Drake – Briny Hooves

(sheBear)

John L Walters

Friday February 2, 2007

The Guardian

As the Great Tao of Style spins round, it is possible for culture to be so retro that it sounds fresh – and vice versa: witness the craft revival, ballroom dancing and the return of the seven-inch single. As backward-glancing composer-performers go, William D Drake is more Afghan coat than legwarmer. Briny Hooves is cheerfully eclectic, with a nod to “big pop” – the High Llamas, the Associates, late Beatles – and a raw edge to the vocals.

He has even been compared to Brian Wilson, perhaps for his quirky, acoustic orchestrations, but there is something defiantly British in Drake’s attitude. His sense of scale and structure chime with his apprenticeship in the Cardiacs and his ongoing contributions to the North Sea Radio Orchestra. You can also hear Drake’s pastoral roots in Yew’s Paw (on Onomatopoeia), a simultaneously released collection of piano miniatures whose “light classical” veneer peels back to reveal a tough musical heart.

——————————————————————————————————-

Rocksound February 2007

WILLIAM D DRAKE [ 7 ]

‘BRINY HOOVES’ / ‘YEW’S PAW’

(SHE BEAR / ONOMATOPOEIA)

Two very separate solo albums by a onetime member of the Cardiacs, a band appreci­ated by few outside a furi­ously devoted fan base and habitually described as “very English”. Drake appears in no hurry to alter this impression on ‘Briny Hooves’; that his old band were one of the biggest influences on the tea-sipping pop grand­standing of Blur comes to light on (painful pun alert) ‘Serendipity Doodah’ – brassy prog-goes-pop springing above the glut of muted psych numbers and queerly arranged piano rattlers. More fun than this all sounds, actually. ‘Yew’s Paw’, meanwhile, is a collection of 13 piano pieces, at once sinister and elegant; the sonic equivalent of an unearthed, scratchy film of 1920s upper-class social gather­ings. That’s more fun than it sounds, too.

http://www.williamddrake.com

NOEL F GARDNER

——————————————————————————————————-

Q Magazinr February 2007

WILLIAM D DRAKE

Briny Hooves

SHEBEAR ***

His frenetic piano-playing inspired Blur, and here the ex-Cardiacs keyboardist turns in his own ‘60s-refracted take on British art-pop: one part Robyn Hitchcock, one part a deeper-­voiced Robert Wyatt, announcing, “I’m a big, big bastard” in the High Llamas-like Ugly Fortress.

TOM DOYLE

——————————————————————————————————-

Stool Pigeon February 2007

WILLIAM D. DRAKE

Briny Hooves/Yew’s Paw

sheBear/Onomatopoeia

There are plenty of things that are unusual about William D. Drake and here’s one of them:he’s putting out two a/bums on the same day on two different labels. Here’s another: they’re dramatically djfferent. Briny Hooves is a shanty-like romp of a record, full of humour and tinged with psychedelia. Yew’s Paw is an album of piano solos, classical in style, and extraordinarily accomplished. An eccentric gent indeed.

[a 3 pigeon review; out of 5 – review uncredited]

——————————————————————————————————-

Playlouder.com

Briny Hooves / Yew’s Paw

William D.

When I found out that William D Drake was to release two albums on two different labels on the same day I couldn’t contain a chuckle. Nowadays an album isn’t released unless it’s been squeezed through the marketing mangle for months with everyone down to the record company bike courier chucking in his or her opinion on whether or not the bass is high enough in the mix or whether the first single should be ‘Mummy’s Boy’ or ‘Bedwetter’. We’d be lucky (or not) to be able to buy two albums every three years or more from the same artist but Mr Drake is bursting with tunes and his hand will not be stayed.

‘Briny Hooves’, released through sheBear records, is superabundant in ideas and scope. Like a proggy High Llamas performing with the North Sea Radio Orchestra (who he also plays with), and with Drake’s wonderful piano always at the centre, it paints a colourful picture of the inside of his originative and fertile mind. It doesn’t really fit into any drawer in any musical chest that I could name; it being neither indie nor rock and yet it has elements of both as well as sea shanties, hurdy gurdy rhythms and even a ‘Requiem for a Snail’ which, unlike its subject, is an overwrought prog epic, lasting barely a minute and a half.

‘Seahorse’ is a colossal sweep of a tune which turns into ‘Nights in White Satin’ halfway through for some reason, ‘Wolves’ highlights William’s vocal range, from husk to strangled roar, the music stomping for a bit before collapsing into sweet strings, brass and farmyard animals. ‘Serendipity Doodah’ begins with a deranged cartoon piano before bouncing into a beefy pop song with a big chorus. “We shall sing the seashell song/it won’t be short, it won’t be long”, so goes ‘The Seashell Song’, a lovely medieval folk gander across the beach at Monk Nash. ‘Briny Hooves’ is perfect for this time of year, all wintry and cosy; like being in a warm kitchen while the wind and rain batter the garden outside.

‘Yew’s Paw’ is an album of Drake’s piano instrumentals released by Onomatopoeia records. Some Yew trees in England are thought to be over four thousand years old and are seen by some as symbol of transformation and rebirth due to their ability to grow new trunks within the old. This fits with Drake’s musical vision which belongs to no particular place in time. ‘Yew’s Paw’, the first track, veers from classical flourishes to keystone cops to Gershwinesque flights of brilliance. It will require some effort, something that current generations, including my own, may have lost since the pop single was invented fifty years ago. To our superfast consumer ears, music like this can appear noodly but William Drake is an excellent piano player and his fingers are remarkably fluent in their chosen language; small wonder as Drake has been playing nearly all of his life.

‘Short and Sweet Like a Donkey’s Gallop’ sounds like a sixteen second driving theme from a seventies period drama, ‘Within My Skull’ switches rhythm and time with a fluid grace and ‘The Kissing Song’ charts the ups and downs of a love affair, and is unutterably lovely. Lie back, close your eyes and direct your own film in your head, the music is already done. I would be hard pressed to choose which of these albums to buy if I only had enough conkers for one, but both would reward in their own unique and imaginative way.

Domino Jones

reviewed on 08 Feb 2007

——————————————————————————————————-

Rock Midgets

William D Drake – Yew’s Paw – Onomatopoeia

Um yes. Well. What is there to say about 13 tracks of nothing but piano? It’s impressive piano, certainly, but it’s just piano, piano, piano and nothing else, no drums, no other instruments, no beats, no distractions. And it’s largely classical, so if that’s not really your thing, then it’s unlikely this album will turn you. Mr Drake is certainly musically accomplished, and there are many “how many fingers does that guy have?” moments, but there’s just not really anything going on here to hold the attention. The clanging creepy tree chords that burst into the middle of ‘At The End Of The Harbour Wall’ and the spiky, stabbing rhythms of ‘Todokin’ make you look up, but on the whole, this is music you’d hear in the background of an art house film, and it’s not really a soundtrack you’d want to rush out and buy afterwards. Far more interesting is that this is one of two albums that William D Drake has released on the same day – yet on different labels – although why he felt compelled to release this is something of a mystery. For piano enthusiasts only.

3/5

Heather Crumbley

This review can be found online at http://www.rockmidgets.com/releases.php?&id=1784

Rock Midgets

William D Drake – Briny Hooves – sheBear Records

William D Drake is a man of many ideas, not all of them good. This, his second album released on February 5th, is a far cry from its piano-led companion Yew’s Paw. This is like wandering around inside the mind of a deeply, deeply disturbed Badly Drawn Boy. From the off, the nightmarish ‘Wolves’ sounds like being trapped in a creepy fairground by people with unnervingly friendly smiles on their faces, and it doesn’t get any more normal. ‘Ugly fortress’ starts out as a Beatlesy waltz, before going into meltdown about two minutes in, while ‘Requiem For A Snail’ is certainly one of the angriest songs I’ve heard about the squidgy garden inhabitants. When it works, it really works, as on the brilliantly titled ‘Serendipity Doodah’, which involves possibly the least reassuring use of the words “nothing can ever hurt you” over rather cheerful brass and a terrifyingly incessant piano riff. When it doesn’t work, it sounds horrible – see flaccid ballad ‘The Fountains Smoke’ for proof. at times, there are almost too many ideas, and a bit of quality control wouldn’t go amiss, but this certainly makes for interesting listening, and Briny Hooves is one to seek out if you like your indie laced with the surreal and more than three chords.

3/5

Heather Crumbley

This review can be found online at http://www.rockmidgets.com/releases.php?&id=1783

———————————————————————————————–

Rumbles = February 2007 =

this month is compiled by Simon Lewis

Next up, two very different releases by William.R.Drake, the first “Yews Paw” is a collection of solo piano pieces that blend together in fine style and sound like the lost soundtrack to an early motion picture. I guess a love of the piano is essential to fully appreciate this album in it’s entirety, but each track works just fine, being well played, interesting and containing enough variety to sustain attention. (www.onophonic.com) Personally speaking I find the second album “Briny Hooves” to be of far more interest containing, as it does, some charming psychedelic tunes with well written lyrics, varied instrumentation, and an eye for detail that gives them sparkle. As to be expected the piano looms large throughout the disc, offering some wonderful melodic moments, such as “Dark Ecstasies” which contains some very canterburyesque chord changes. Elsewhere, “Ugly Fortress” is lifted by some excellent trumpet, “The Fountain Smoke” sound like Dutch band Earth And Fire, “Seahorse” has some finely balanced strings haunting the arrangement, and “Requiem For A Snail” is just strange. For those amongst us who like strangely normal songs that are surreal and filled with oddities, think Paul Roland or Richard Sinclair. (www.shebearrecords.com)

http://www.terrascope.co.uk/Reviews/Rumbles_February07.htm

———————————————————————————————–

Vanity Project February 2007

William D. Drake – Briny Hooves (She Bear)
William D. Drake – Yew’s Paw (Onomatopoeia)

Two simultaneous album releases from the former Cardiac and classy, but psychedelic, composer William D. Drake, an early-music mangler with an ear for the absurd, the profound and the pop. ‘Briny Hooves’ begins with the chewy rhythm of ‘Wolves’, and after the snakes-and-ladders to-top-and-drop melodies which are Drake’s signature open ‘Dark Ecstasies’ he can easily merge into a fairly mainstream rock-opera piano style. ‘Ugly Fortress’, meanwhile, is da-da for the parlour. ‘The Fountains Smoke’ twinkles amongst heavy bass piano and workhouse/fog brass. The centerpieces here though is the divine, church-bells-in-misty-dissolve ‘Sweet Peace’ as well as the emotive, euloguous trumpet-led ‘Seahorse’. On ‘Yew’s Paw’, Drake’s skills as an instrumental composer are brought to the fore, with 13 piano-only pieces. His typical time and key changes are here but utilized in a much more genteel way perhaps than in his past musical lives. That said, when ‘Sylvie’s Proof’ changes from a stroll to a scamper in an instant, he shows that he can still play around with a listener’s, hitherto seemingly passive, adrenaline. Skif. DrakeSpace

This review can be found online at www.vanityproject.co.uk

——————————————————————————————————-

Subba Cultcha

William D Drake

Yew’s Paw / Briny Hooves

Onomatopoeia Records / SheBear Records

One Time Cardiacs man offers up two albums of eclectic, classically influenced, piano based psychedelia.

William D Drake is a man out of time. He comes, beamed across time and space from an age of silver screens and revolution. A composer, songwriter and pianist who broods and confounds, twisting resonant falling key changes into evocative pastoral passages that surprise and confound in equal measure.

There are two records here, quite disparate but bound by common threads. Yew’s Paw consists of thirteen solo piano pieces, a macabre soundtrack that draws forth a huge swell of foreboding and tempered power across its duration. Drawing on childhood obsessions with Disney, Spike Milligan and such leviathan’s as Debussy and Rachmaninov Drake doesn’t so much as cajole you into his world as lash you to a chair before saturating you in bombardment of chopping time signatures and discordant key changes that stretch simultaneously across a myriad of emotions. The title track clearly sets out the stylistic stall, hitting the ground running and recalling the identity that permeated Drake’s time as a Cardiac. Title’s such as ‘Within My Skull’ providing the perfect signpost to this records origins, Blake has poured the dark contents of his conscious down through his fingers and into the very grain of his piano. It is a stark, biting collection recalling variously the classical heavy weights, later day jazz visionaries, and yet it is laced with a noir reminiscient of the modern songbook of artists such as E or Nick Cave.

By contrast Briny Hooves is a record of aching immediacy. From the off Drake employs much of the stylistic fervor evident on Yew’s Paw to embellish his songs with an infectious intent. “Lightening strikes but once they say….it was everyday”, he sings across opening track ‘Wolves’, and he has a point, because across the eleven songs lightening strikes with alarming frequency. Quite simply breathtaking in its impassioned delivery Drake incants Cohen-esque narratives across stark choral arrangements that sweep and rise like the lost moments of a Dennis Wilson fantasy.

Yet, for all his passion it is still when simply using melody as his voice that Drake truly creates transcendent music, and where Briny Hooves lets you glimpse, such as during the stand out ‘SeaHorse’, Yew’s Paw is the sound of a man delivered.

http://www.williamddrake.com

By Jonathan Sebire

——————————————————————————————————-

New Noise

William D Drake

by Jim Merrett

Eccentricity has a solid foundation in music.

“Said to be a distant relative of Nick Drake, sonically William has more in common with the English garden pixie playground musings of Syd Barrett. Not that it is fair to pen him in a corner – Drake is equally at home with sea shanties, Brian Wilson harmonies and Mike Patton-style outbursts as he is with whimsical church fete surrealism.”

Eccentricity has a solid foundation in music. It could even be an entry requirement, which works out for William D Drake. Said to be a distant relative of Nick Drake, sonically William has more in common with the English garden pixie playground musings of Syd Barrett. Not that it is fair to pen him in a corner – Drake is equally at home with sea shanties, Brian Wilson harmonies and Mike Patton-style outbursts as he is with whimsical church fete surrealism.

That’s on one hand: on the other, he is a pianist of classical training eager to pour his skills into heart-breaking signatures. Torn between experimentation and rigid composition, he has stumbled on the best compromise – two very different albums.

It is noise, certainly, but slow burning rather than new. Drake has performed under an assortment of band banners since 1982, with over seven years spent in Cardiacs. Having carved out a career as a session musician, supporting the likes of The Cure, his first solo outing came 20 years after his initial steps.

These days, his diary is absurdly busy – 5th February sees him releasing both the loosely straightforward ‘Briny Hooves’ and ‘Yew’s Paw’, his piano-driven instrumental showcase. Whether the running animal feet motif is intentional or not remains cloaked in mystery, but is hardly the most off-kilter factoid to glean here.

First, to the gallop of ‘Briny Hooves’, where Drake’s penchant for Jacobean poetry comes into play. Ingredients include: fairies, harmoniums, may poles and very probably Freddie Mercury and Kate Bush trapped in a wicker man singing soft lullabies to ward off evil spirits. But even here, Drake works best where he is economic with his words – trumpet-led sigh ‘Seahorse’ steals the show.

Its sister album ‘Yew’s Paw’ is at once tender and delicate and a lot like slowly being hit over the head with a piano. It betrays Drake’s experience, drawing on the distant past, to snatches of antique recordings and silent movies. A peculiar entity to hove into the era of iPods. A proposition that probably sits as uncomfortably in any past era as it does today and to be cherished for that fact.

this review can be found online at www.new-noise.net/new-bands/william-d-drake/william-d-drake_795.html

——————————————————————————————————-

from Ant at Norman Records (newsletter 9/2)

“Apparently WILLIAM D DRAKE is a distant cousin of Nick Drake. I found that out from the press release for album ‘Briny Hooves’. That truly is scraping the barrel to try and sell records. This is way too theatrical and overboard for my tastes. I don’t mind a bit of eccentricity but this almost sounds forced at times. The tracks switch from the melancholy piano based tracks to slightly more rocky type stuff. I don’t think I’m old enough to appreciate this although I’m sure many people will be. Sorry but this one’s lost on me.

Not content with releasing one album this week WILLIAM D DRAKE has gone and released another! ‘Yew’s Paw’ sounds far more promising… Beginning with classical piano…. and continuing with classical piano. Okay I’m up to track 6 ‘At The End Of the Harbour Wall’ and have concluded that this is an entire album of solo piano works. There are some reasonably beautiful moments although it tends to veer towards the more playful and at times dramatic. Almost like an imaginary soundtrack to a silent movie. CD on Onomatopoeia.”

and from Boomkat update 9/2

WILLIAM D DRAKE – Yew’s Paw 
ONOMATOPOEIA 
CD // £10.99 
Not long ago a modern solo piano album was as rare as a post rock album without long drawn out quiet bits, but seemingly in the space of a few months we were greeted with a whole shower of records from musicians ditching the comforts of over-production in favour of the sound of the trusty ivories. That tradition has continued thankfully and this latest from William D. Drake shows that today’s artists have no fear now of releasing something as stark and open to criticism as a solo piano album. The ex-Cardiacs member is clearly a gifted pianist too, and rather than the subtle and pensive micro-compositions of Goldmund, the prepared piano rumblings of Hauschka or the lush Gallic smokiness of Sylvain Chauveau, Drake goes down the brave road of contemporary jazz and old silent movie pastiche. This works to a point, and Drake’s confidence drips from every note, givng the record a real sense of place and purpose, but I think there’s definitely something lacking – maybe the atmosphere he tries to create would come over better with more production? The thing with a solo piano record is that there’s a lot to prove using such little means, and while Drake manages to evoke a mood, it seems to stop without entirely completing its purpose. ‘Yew’s Paw’ would without a doubt be a fitting accompaniment to a European silent movie in all its mischievous glory, but don’t think you’ll be getting any popcorn! ..

WILLIAM D DRAKE – Briny Hooves 
SHEBEAR 
CD // £10.99 
The press release for Briny Hooves points out that William D. Drake is a distant cousin of none other than Nick Drake, which is surely setting him up for a fall. Going into the family business, William D takes a wholly different approach to songwriting, positioning himself at the more wilfully eccentric end of the scale of British songwriters. Briny Hooves is loaded with excess and self-caricature. The knowing melodrama of `Requiem For A Snail’ and the sheer daftness of `Wolves’ (like Rammstein collaborating with David Sylvian) amply demonstrate that, but there is more subtlety to Drake’s writing than first meets the ear. The match-up of piano and trumpet on `Ugly Fortress’ is a real standout moment of success, with Drake’s vocal coming across as a bit Syd Barrett, and on the album’s most restrained moments (such as the sombre balladry of `Sweet Peace’) Drake finds a strength that the more outlandish songs here only prove to dismantle. ..

From Playlouder.com

“Briny Hooves / Yew’s Paw

William D. Drake



When I found out that William D Drake was to release two albums on two different labels on the same day I couldn’t contain a chuckle. Nowadays an album isn’t released unless it’s been squeezed through the marketing mangle for months with everyone down to the record company bike courier chucking in his or her opinion on whether or not the bass is high enough in the mix or whether the first single should be ‘Mummy’s Boy’ or ‘Bedwetter’. We’d be lucky (or not) to be able to buy two albums every three years or more from the same artist but Mr Drake is bursting with tunes and his hand will not be stayed.

‘Briny Hooves’, released through sheBear records, is superabundant in ideas and scope. Like a proggy High Llamas performing with the North Sea Radio Orchestra (who he also plays with), and with Drake’s wonderful piano always at the centre, it paints a colourful picture of the inside of his originative and fertile mind. It doesn’t really fit into any drawer in any musical chest that I could name; it being neither indie nor rock and yet it has elements of both as well as sea shanties, hurdy gurdy rhythms and even a ‘Requiem for a Snail’ which, unlike its subject, is an overwrought prog epic, lasting barely a minute and a half.

‘Seahorse’ is a colossal sweep of a tune which turns into ‘Nights in White Satin’ halfway through for some reason, ‘Wolves’ highlights William’s vocal range, from husk to strangled roar, the music stomping for a bit before collapsing into sweet strings, brass and farmyard animals. ‘Serendipity Doodah’ begins with a deranged cartoon piano before bouncing into a beefy pop song with a big chorus. “We shall sing the seashell song/it won’t be short, it won’t be long”, so goes ‘The Seashell Song’, a lovely medieval folk gander across the beach at Monk Nash. ‘Briny Hooves’ is perfect for this time of year, all wintry and cosy; like being in a warm kitchen while the wind and rain batter the garden outside.

‘Yew’s Paw’ is an album of Drake’s piano instrumentals released by Onomatopoeia records. Some Yew trees in England are thought to be over four thousand years old and are seen by some as symbol of transformation and rebirth due to their ability to grow new trunks within the old. This fits with Drake’s musical vision which belongs to no particular place in time. ‘Yew’s Paw’, the first track, veers from classical flourishes to keystone cops to Gershwinesque flights of brilliance. It will require some effort, something that current generations, including my own, may have lost since the pop single was invented fifty years ago. To our superfast consumer ears, music like this can appear noodly but William Drake is an excellent piano player and his fingers are remarkably fluent in their chosen language; small wonder as Drake has been playing nearly all of his life.

‘Short and Sweet Like a Donkey’s Gallop’ sounds like a sixteen second driving theme from a seventies period drama, ‘Within My Skull’ switches rhythm and time with a fluid grace and ‘The Kissing Song’ charts the ups and downs of a love affair, and is unutterably lovely. Lie back, close your eyes and direct your own film in your head, the music is already done. I would be hard pressed to choose which of these albums to buy if I only had enough conkers for one, but both would reward in their own unique and imaginative way.

Domino Jones

reviewed on 08 Feb 2007”
“William D Drake, Briny Hooves

(sheBear)

John L Walters

Friday February 2, 2007

The Guardian

 

Buy Briny Hooves now

As the Great Tao of Style spins round, it is possible for culture to be so retro that it sounds fresh – and vice versa: witness the craft revival, ballroom dancing and the return of the seven-inch single. As backward-glancing composer-performers go, William D Drake is more Afghan coat than legwarmer. Briny Hooves is cheerfully eclectic, with a nod to “big pop” – the High Llamas, the Associates, late Beatles – and a raw edge to the vocals.

He has even been compared to Brian Wilson, perhaps for his quirky, acoustic orchestrations, but there is something defiantly British in Drake’s attitude. His sense of scale and structure chime with his apprenticeship in the Cardiacs and his ongoing contributions to the North Sea Radio Orchestra. You can also hear Drake’s pastoral roots in Yew’s Paw (on Onomatopoeia), a simultaneously released collection of piano miniatures whose “light classical” veneer peels back to reveal a tough musical heart.”

From soundsxp.com

Album Review Back to Home

William D Drake Briny Hooves and Yew’s Paw

sheBear Records/ Onomatopoeia Records

Article written by Ged M

Apr 17, 2007.

Bill Drake was a member of the Cardiacs and various offshoots and is part of the North Sea Radio Orchestra but his music sucks in influences from every place and age. He’s a hybrid of Syd Barrett and Sufjan Stevens after consuming Gilbert & Sullivan, Kate Bush, XTC, Lewis Carroll, Shakespeare and the King James Bible. Briny Hooves is without doubt among the finest records you’ll hear all year if you can recognise vaulting ambition and can live without your music being processed into digestible boxes. This is dramatic and theatrical, the sort of thing that radio stations from pop to classical could (and should) play.

It’s a treasure trove of delightful sound. ‘Serendipity Doodah’ is psychedelic pop with outré flourishes, with its frightningly insistent piano trills and stabbing brass riffs. ‘The Fountains Smoke’ is melodic melodrama, with a Bush-like female vocalist creating the mood of a Victorian fantasy. ‘Dark Ecstasies’ could be light opera while the dark lyrics of ‘Ugly Fortress’ are counterpointed against the sweet Brian Wilson vocals and melodies. From a slew of great songs, ‘Seahorses’ might be the best, combining the modern age and the middle ages, choral sounds and the Beatles, with a lovely, leisurely trumpet refrain. I loved Briny Hooves from the outset; it has a freshness and imagination that put me in mind of Beirut’s ‘Gulag Orkestar’, and is the product of an independent mentality that shuns the conventions of ‘indie’. “Haunting” doesn’t do it justice.

His other album, Yew’s Paw, a suite of 13 solo piano pieces, represents Drake the composer. I know nothing of classical music, so have to take at face value the mentions of Debussy, Paderewski and Rachmaninov in the accompanying press blurb (I thought they were Bayer Leverkusen’s central defence) but I know that this is light and refreshing classical music, and a couple of the tracks sound like tunes that accompanied movies in the silent era. Even to this philistine, it sounds pretty impressive.”

Pennyblackmusic

William D Drake : Interview

Author: Mark Rowland

Published: 16/04/2007

The term commercial suicide is often thrown out when a band does something a little off the wall in their career. Putting out an album that is completely different in style than the previous one could be labelled commercial suicide, for example, or swathing your tunes in a wash of dissonant noise. It is also typically used when a band releases more than one album in a short space of time.

It’s hard to determine how these moves came to be labelled as commercial suicide in the first place. Obviously, making an album of pure noise is an overtly anti-commercial move, and to a degree, the same could be said of completely abandoning your original sound for a new one (although it could be argued that Dylan and the Beatles did just that, on more than one occasion). Releasing more than one album in a short space of time, however, is surely dependent on the band and the situation in which the albums were released. Another problem with the phrase commercial suicide is that those bands who are said to have committed it don’t often tend to be that commercial.

William D Drake released two albums this year on the same day in February. He is hardly considered commercial, having previously played with the distinctly unhinged sounding Cardiacs in the 80’s, and yet when his albums, ‘Briny Hooves’, a song-based, full band album and ‘Yew’s Paw’, an album of piano instrumentals, came out earlier this year, ’commercial suicide’ was the phrase bandied about by some reviewers.

“It might be seen as commercial suicide in many cases but neither of them are particularly commercial albums,” says Drake, sitting down with Pennyblackmusic at a pub in Clapham. “Obviously, I want them to sell, but I don’t it to be at the expense of the sort of music I like doing.”

Drake tells us that the two albums just happened to come together at the same time: “‘Briny Hooves’ took about four years to come together, we did a lot of re-working and remixing tracks,” he says. “It took a couple of things to get things right. Yews Paw was made up from stuff I had from years ago but that took some time to get it sounding right. So both were ready at the same time and they had both taken so long to come together that I didn’t want to wait another six months to put one of them out, and we thought why not put them out on the same day? They’re both very different but they also compliment each other really well. I’m really glad we decided to release them together.”

According to Drake, ‘Briny Hooves’ took so long by chance, with mixing sessions taking place sporadically.

“It was recorded in stages in a bedroom in Tooting, then obviously we did the drums somewhere else. Then we did a few more mixes, which were done over the two years, on and off,” he says. “Then Daryl the producer moved to this fantastic studio with this great equipment that was used by the Birmingham Philarmonic about 15 years ago. We were mixing one of the tracks that actually wasn’t going to go on the album, and it sounded so good, so zingy and lively, that we realised we were going to have mix the tracks again.”

The time it took to complete ‘Briny Hooves’ is a drop in the ocean compared to the writing and recording of ‘Yew’s Paw’, however. Many of the pieces that feature on the album were written when Drake was still in the Cardiacs, back in the 80’s.

“Obviously I would have periods of time not doing anything and I had this grand piano. I’d spend quite a lot of time messing about on it and started coming up with these pieces and quite a lot of it ended up becoming Yew’s Paw,” he says. “Some of it was written in the 90’s as well. There’d be times when I’d have quite a lot of time on my hands and I would just sit down and play piano and more pieces came from that. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to release them.”

“Then Nick from Onomatopoeia contacted me and said he wanted to put something out by me> Whatever I wanted to do he would release it. It occurred to me while thinking about that album; why not record all these piano pieces I’ve had all these years? That’s why there’s a very different feel to that album than ‘Briny Hooves’ because the pieces were written over so many years, while the ‘Briny Hooves’ material was all written within the last six years. I suppose because I’m going under my own name now, rather than playing in bands, I really just want to explore my solo career, work with different people and take it in different directions.”

Those different directions include a collaboration with two brothers called Richard and James Larcombe: “They have their own band called Stars In Battledress, who are pretty amazing. Richard plays electric and acoustic guitars and sings vocals and James plays harmonium and sings, so we have three-point harmonies, and I will play piano with them. I have a lot of songs that I haven’t used with other bands that are perfect for the Larcombes> They’re very energetic and fast and it suits them really, really well. So that will be one album. I don’t really know how to describe it, it’ll probably be a mixture of ‘Yew’s Paw’ and ‘Briny Hooves’, sort of fast piano-y music, but it’s not all like that, just funny old songs really.”

Drake plans to release another album soon after that: “It will probably be more in the vein of ‘Briny Hooves’. The one I do with James and Richard will be fairly live I imagine, so I’d like the other one to be more layered. There’s still quite a few piano pieces that I‘d like to release, but I would quite like to arrange them and have them played on a lot of different instruments. I did at some point think it would be fun to do that with ‘Yew‘s Paw’, but in the end it was better for me to do those just on piano.”

Exploring different methods of recording is an enjoyable part of the process for Drake, who has no preference for recording live takes or layering up tracks. Despite this, he surprisingly hasn’t really got into the technical side of recording.

“I wouldn’t say I’m a technophobe, but I tend to just play piano and write little pieces. I know quite a few people who have their own studio equipment so I can record little bits with them. I have finally got a new computer, so I might get something to go on that.”

Recording is easier for Drake to do than touring these days. He teaches music at a London college, which takes up a large amount of his time. Drake has managed to play a few gigs since the release of his album, however.

“I played at the Spitz on February 9 as a launch for the albums. We hired a piano for the evening. Stars in Battledress played first. Then I came on and played most of ‘Yew’s Paw’. Then we got a band onstage, minus a drummer and bass player, because they couldn’t make it. We’re going to do a gig at some point with the full band. It seemed to go really well, there was a lovely atmosphere.

“Funnily enough, we got through ‘Yew’s Paw’ and ‘Briny Hooves’, but the audience didn’t want us to stop after that, so we had a break then the audience shouted out requests and we played whole bunch of other material. So we did about 15 requests, stuff off my first album, then some Cardiacs stuff and some from the Cardiacs offshoots like Mr and Mrs Smith and Mr Drake and the Sea Nymphs.”

Drake is looking to do a proper tour for the albums as soon as possible, however: “We want to do a little Italian tour. We did a gig in Venice for some promoters called Musica Continua. They particularly like prog music, which I wouldn’t say my music is, though it has elements of it. I got an email from a guy called Alessandro asking if we’d like to play there, so we went out there and played it. We got a really good reaction and they said they would help us sort out a tour. So we’re going to go back out there for a few dates then I think we’ll continue the tour when we come back and play a few venues in the UK. I’ll either do it on my own, or I could play with the full band, so I’ve got that flexibility. That’s one of the advantages of releasing two records at once, one of which I did on my own.”

Drake has done a few solo gigs playing the ‘Yew’s Paw’ material and stripped down versions of songs from his back catalogue.

“I’d played a few gigs playing Yew’s Paw, supporting the North Sea Radio Orchestra which was started by a guy called Craig Fortnam and his wife Sharron,” he says. “It is an orchestra. There’s about 15-20 people who play with them. I used to be in a band with Craig called Lake of Puppies. Craig is the composer and they arrange these melodic orchestral pieces and Sharron sings on a few of them. They released an album last year. What was the question again ? I’ve completely lost my train of thought.”

Drake’s passion for all things musical often takes the conversation in directions that eventually lose the point that he was originally trying to make. His enthusiasm is admirable, and was instilled in him from a very young age.

“I learnt classical piano until I was about 18, and I’d been playing since I was about five. I originally started playing on a little harmonium. It was quite interesting-looking, which is good when you’re a kid, and it was small so it was about the right size for me. My mother taught me how to play ‘Chopsticks ‘and we’d play it together. Then one of my neighbours, who had noticed I was interested in music, went to New Zealand for a year and asked if I’d like to look after their piano while they were away, and it took off from there really.”

“My mother and grandmother both played, so I was surrounded by music and they were very encouraging, I’d play duets with them and I started getting lessons. I’d make up little things as well, so it all really came together from a really young age. I learnt to play piano classically, but I was heavily into the Beatles and David Bowie, I went to boarding school as well, and there was certain times during the week when you’d have to practice piano, so that helped me keep it up as well.”

When Drake left school he played in a few bands, but things really changed for him when he met Tim Smith in the early 80s, when he was 21.

“I was playing a gig with another band. He was doing the sound, and we became friends after that. He invited me to see his band, and gave me a tape, which I really liked and he asked me to join them about a year later.”

Knowing that Drake was classically trained, Smith wrote particularly complex parts for him to play. The complicated, time-signature shifting keyboard work became a distinctive feature of the Cardiacs’ sound.

“Tim has always written extremely complex pieces. Before I joined the band, he was playing them on guitar, and then when I joined he could write those complex lines for the keyboard as well.”

The Cardiacs were an off-beat band, their sound lurching and hyperactive. They spent a lot of time sefl-releasing cassettes and touring non-stop before they released their first proper full-length album, ‘A Little Man and a House and the Whole World Window’.

“With the Cardiacs, we really built it up from nothing by touring the toilet circuit across the country, but that was the right way to do it for us,” says Drake. “I remember when we first played this place in Birmingham called the Mermaid, the first time we’d played there nobody heard of us apart from the brother of Sarah, who was sax player in the band. That was in the days where we had a very extravagant set up, very scattergun and theatrical, and we had this thick make-up on, and we played to a few people and Sarah’s brother, then the second time we played there we played to a few more people, and the third time we were playing to quite a lot more people.”

The band never really achieved any commercial success, coming closest with single ’Is This The Life’, but they were never a commercial band. They managed to attract a cult following of die-hard fans, some of which went on to form bands themselves.

“We were doing a lot of stuff in the 80’s and we ended up influencing bands who came out in the 90s. I know that Blur really liked us, for example, and quite a few other bands,” Drake says. “The bands we did influence were always very British.”

Drake thinks that ’A Little Man and a House and a Whole World Window’ would be a good starting point for those uninitiated to the Cardiacs. He also recommends ’On Land and in the Sea’, which is considered by many of their fans to be their best.

“It tends to get better the more that you listen to,” says Drake of the Cardiacs’ music. “It was a great apprenticeship for me working with those guys, I learnt a lot by playing with them and it helped to develop my own song-writing style. With both ’Little Man and a House and the Whole World Window’ and ‘On Land and in the Sea’, I was in the studio the whole time and got to see how Tim was working. It was just great fun, lots of exploring and experimenting. I suppose when I’m doing my own albums, I try to keep the same level of exploration that was going on there.”

Drake left the band in the early 90’s, but has remained on good terms with Smith. They collaborated after that in the Sea Nymphs, with Smith’s wife Sarah, also a member of the Cardiacs. Smith also produced Drake’s first solo record. The Cardiacs are still performing and recording sporadically, and have vowed to play at least one gig a year.

Drake may have left the band, but still enjoys collaborating with Smith. He is hoping that one of his subsequent albums will be recorded in collaboration with Smith.

“I’d like to work with him on another album, I really like working with him. He’s just finished building this huge studio so I’d like to record there at some point. Perhaps I’ll work with him on one of my next albums.”

Vanity Project

William D. Drake – Briny Hooves (She Bear)

William D. Drake – Yew’s Paw (Onomatopoeia)

Two simultaneous album releases from the former Cardiac and classy, but psychedelic, composer William D. Drake, an early-music mangler with an ear for the absurd, the profound and the pop. ‘Briny Hooves’ begins with the chewy rhythm of ‘Wolves’, and after the snakes-and-ladders to-top-and-drop melodies which are Drake’s signature open ‘Dark Ecstasies’ he can easily merge into a fairly mainstream rock-opera piano style. ‘Ugly Fortress’, meanwhile, is da-da for the parlour. ‘The Fountains Smoke’ twinkles amongst heavy bass piano and workhouse/fog brass. The centerpieces here though is the divine, church-bells-in-misty-dissolve ‘Sweet Peace’ as well as the emotive, euloguous trumpet-led ‘Seahorse’. On ‘Yew’s Paw’, Drake’s skills as an instrumental composer are brought to the fore, with 13 piano-only pieces. His typical time and key changes are here but utilized in a much more genteel way perhaps than in his past musical lives. That said, when ‘Sylvie’s Proof’ changes from a stroll to a scamper in an instant, he shows that he can still play around with a listener’s, hitherto seemingly passive, adrenaline. Skif. DrakeSpace

James Delingpole in The Sunday Telegraph:

Arch, obscure, parochial, hauntingly nostalgic and deeply odd, ‘Briny Hooves’ is the very quintessence of quintessential Englishness. Drake used to be in Cardiacs and if you’re a fan – especially their masterpiece ‘A Little Man and a House and the Whole World Window’ – you’ll know what to expect: swirly organs, woozy brass, martial beats, strange key changes and a general aura of Gormenghast meets very early Genesis. I love this sort of tosh; you might well not.

4/5 stars

And:

Joe Muggs in The Word magazine:

Yew’s Paw and Briny Hooves trample over boundaries of genre and sanity

I think this bloke might be a genius. I’m not sure, though, even after a

month of listening to the two simultaneously released CDs by this ex-Cardiac

and key composer for the folky, jazzy Kate Bush-y North Sea Radio Orchestra,

but I know William D Drake is not an easy musician to work out at all. The

huge orchestrations, occasional electronic twiddles and crashing guitars of

Briny Hooves have their closest contemporary parallel in Sufjan Stevens, but

there’s none of Stevens’ arch feyness, and a whole lot of the fierce

intensity of Scott Walker – plus a soupçon of prog nuttiness. His music is

impenetrable, but tuneful – and it’s hard not to love a record with a song

called Serendipity Doodah. The Yew’s Paw album is equally perplexing, an

entirely twitchy, culturally-plundering set of solo piano music, taking its

references from Dvorak, Kurt Weill, cabaret songs and classic pop. I suspect

I’ll spend a long time yet trying to work Drake out, but will enjoy it all.

William D Drake – New albums

William D Drake

Briny Hooves (sheBear)

Right from the start Briny Hooves proves to be transportative, hurling us yet lovingly into a revelatory reverie of a long forgotten England. Mr Drake’s piano providing the core to these fantastical compositions, the dream is further enhanced by sweet woodwind, solo trumpet and cello. Mellotron and harmonium freaks will walk away smiling only to realise that they are but celluloid ghosts, picnicking amongst the hoof-prints of Drake’s psychedelic pastures.

Without so much as a glance at current trends William D Drake’s music exists solely on its own terms albeit with the occasional affectionate nod to another uniquely affecting individual, Robert Wyatt.

Clearly the work of a genius, Briny Hooves still maintains a firm hold on a sense of innocence. Here lies part of its magic; the other part is caught up in the sheer unusual yet blisteringly appealing choices of melody and counterpoint which inspire and stimulate those beautiful places in the brain. Seahorse makes me feel complete, in touch with my fellow human; quietly incantatory and reassuring.

In the future Briny Hooves will appear on those Best Albums Of All Time lists and as I continue to listen to it everyday for the rest of my life I shall smile smugly in the knowledge that I told you so.

William D Drake

Yew’s Paw (Onomatopeia)

I’m quite dizzy now with glee. Having just had my soul turned inside out, shaken out and neatly folded by the above (Briny Hooves), I now turn to it’s solo piano companion release Yews Paw which marries masterful dexterity with playful wit, all the time recalling a different age somehow. There is something essentially purifying in listening to these pieces. Pieces is always an odd word, usually referring to the piano hence my usage but I would equally call these wordless songs. Not tunes though; I think there’s more to them than being mere tunes!

Who cares anyway? Just put it on, let it exist in your living rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, walkmans (sorry – iPods), cars… Life is too short not to get this. Yews Paw makes me want to redefine Hollywood, take it back to Chaplin and find a different path from that point to a new place where the soundtrack tells the story. Even at the jauntier end of the scale, much of Drake’s work is totally cinematic. I just hope Ken Loach decides to make a silent movie because the soundtrack is right here.

posted by Crayola Lectern at 1:43 PM 0 comments

Boomkat

**Now available on vinyl!** Not long ago a modern solo piano album was as rare as a post rock album without long drawn out quiet bits, but seemingly in the space of a few months we were greeted with a whole shower of records from musicians ditching the comforts of over-production in favour of the sound of the trusty ivories. That tradition has continued thankfully and this latest from William D. Drake shows that today’s artists have no fear now of releasing something as stark and open to criticism as a solo piano album. The ex-Cardiacs member is clearly a gifted pianist too, and rather than the subtle and pensive micro-compositions of Goldmund, the prepared piano rumblings of Hauschka or the lush Gallic smokiness of Sylvain Chauveau, Drake goes down the brave road of contemporary jazz and old silent movie pastiche. This works to a point, and Drake’s confidence drips from every note, givng the record a real sense of place and purpose, but I think there’s definitely something lacking – maybe the atmosphere he tries to create would come over better with more production? The thing with a solo piano record is that there’s a lot to prove using such little means, and while Drake manages to evoke a mood, it seems to stop without entirely completing its purpose. ‘Yew’s Paw’ would without a doubt be a fitting accompaniment to a European silent movie in all its mischievous glory, but don’t think you’ll be getting any popcorn!

Rocksound

Two very separate solo albums by a onetime member of the Cardiacs, a band appreciated by few outside a furiously devoted fan base and habitually described as “very English”. Drake appears in no hurry to alter this impression on ‘Briny Hooves’; that his old band were one of the biggest influences on the tea-sipping pop grandstanding of Blur comes to light on (painful pun alert) ‘Serendipity Doodah’ – brassy prog-goes-pop springing above the glut of muted psych numbers and queerly arranged piano rattlers. More fun than this all sounds, actually. ‘Yew’s Paw’, meanwhile, is a collection of 13 piano pieces, at once sinister and elegant; the sonic equivalent of an unearthed, scratchy film of 1920s upper-class social gatherings. That’s more fun than it sounds, too.

By NOEL F GARDNER

Out on: (SHE BEAR / ONOMATOPOEIA

The Leeds Guide – Issue 162 – Wed 24 Jan-Thu 08 Feb 2007

William D Drake – Briny Hooves (SheBear Records) / Yew’s Paw

(Onomatopoeia Records)

**** (four stars (out of five))

A brave or foolish move for William D Drake and his two record

labels; releasing two very different records on the same day could

be the work of a genius or a mad man. Which is roughly the picture

Briny Hooves paints of it’s composer. Drake’s work throughout his

more ‘song-based’ album permanently verges on the preposterous,

veering between lushly orchestrated folk and ludicrous psychadelia,

combining sounds and ideas which, by all rights, should never even

walk past each other, eyes averted, let alone sit happily hand-in-

hand on record.

But the sign of a talented and unique song-writer is when the

ridiculous becomes emotionally stirring, rather than laughable, and

Briny Hooves achieves the former.

And then, there’s album number two, Yew’s Paw, a collection of

thirteen solo piano pieces, twisting time signatures and keys at

whim, making each mesmeric composition an intriguing, ever-shifting

piece of work.

Tom Goodhand

Losing Today

William D Drake ‘Earthy Shrine’ (sheBear / Onomatopoeia).

With a career stretching back some quarter of a century and one time  
sparing partner for a certain Tim Smith during his time with the  
Cardiacs (see above) there are few artists around presently who can  
match the formidable and varied output of the workaholic talents of  
Drake. Even this far in to his career he still isn’t content just yet  
to settle down and plough one chosen musical furrow, instead aside  
collaborations, guest appearances (the most recent being with North  
Sea Radio Orchestra last year) he’s even found time this year to  
release two albums each individualistically showcasing his love for  
classicist piano playing (’yew’s paw’) and as a full on rock pop  
combo front man (’briny hooves’). Courtesy of the same label that  
brought back into the public conscience those impish and hugely  
underrated space cadets they came from the stars, I saw them this  
sumptuous quartet of multi faceted gems dips into both of Drake’s  
musical worlds additionally featuring two unreleased cuts from each  
of the albums sessions. ’Serendipity Doodah’ opens the set a kookily  
lysergic hued crooked carousel of sound classily dipped in all manner  
of soft psyche treatments and nuances while flightily eschewing a  
head warping surreal pop dynamo (and getting a second reference  
mention this particular missive) sounding like Alan Price eking out a  
trippy music hall styled Tom Robinson rummaging around in the  
withered acid fried mindset of Syd Barrett with a bonkers as hell  
twisted and psychotic Cockney Rebel for company. Fans of the  
elegantly lush laden symphonies crafted out by Ooberman especially  
via their snow kissed ’running girl’ full length from 2001 will swoon  
to ‘sister to the night’ - this honey crusted teaser, sveltely swept  
amid gentle corteges of waltzing strings, cantering keys and sweetly  
beset in twinkling daydream facades more commonly associated with the  
respectable Oddfellows Casino woos, romances and haunts within a  
mercurial wintry wonderland of noire scored pastoral delights - gem  
like in a word. Flip over for a brace of delicately spun piano  
suites, the sugary bright eyed breathlessness of the exquisitely  
turned ‘the kissing song‘ and the refined and elegant ‘kiln‘ with its  
cleverly cultured pre electronic obsessed Raymond Scott accents make  
this indeed the most perfect and deeply engaging of releases.  
www.williamddrake.com

Mark Barton

Download this as a file

Advertisements

One response to “Yew’s Paw

  1. First off, thanks for posting up the reviews. Secondly is the score available for this release? Failing that just for The Kissing Song? Thirdly, I was listening to this on headphones and it sounds gorgeous, hat’s off to the recorderist.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s