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Album Review: Diversions Vol. 4: The Songs and Poems of Molly Drake by The Unthanks
Fairly Good, Based on 2 Critics
The Guardian - 60 Based on rating 3/5
Cover versions of Robert Wyatt and Anohni songs, hook-ups full of thunder and chug with a Yorkshire brass band, a stark soundtrack about shipbuilding, and now this: the fourth side-project in the Unthanks' intriguing parallel career. This album features settings of poems and songs by Nick Drake's mother, Molly, first revealed to the world on a 2007 compilation of her son's music, Family Tree. Molly's original songs are cut-glass and polite, with a harder, darker melancholy bubbling underneath, and it's this tough, tender soul that this album aspires to reveal.
T he mother of the gifted, tragic songsmith Nick Drake has become revered in her own right following the 2013 release of songs she recorded in the family drawing room in the 1950s. Following covers by Eliza Carthy and Tracey Thorn comes this fourth album in the Diversions series from Tyneside's folk family, mixing Molly Drake's songs with readings of her poems by daughter Gabrielle. Drake's songs, often as brooding and melancholic as her son's, are a natural fit for the Unthanks' poignant sibling harmonies.