As Nick Drake collaborator Joe Boyd has said, the music of his mother, Molly Drake, could provide a key to understanding the origins of the late folk legend’s influential work. After all, it was with her piano and encouragement that he first composed and recorded early demos to reel-to-reel tape. But more than that, Molly’s tunes share an uncanny resemblance to the tone within her son’s own catalog — a 3-LP run that haunts us to this day. While nearly all of Drake’s tapes have been mined for posthumous release in the four decades since his early death, discussion over Molly’s work appearing on 2007’s archival LP, Family Tree, and in director Jeroen Berkven’s documentary, A Skin Too Few, has now led to the release of a 19-track, 45-poem collection all her own.
The self-titled set includes songs from the aforementioned projects, such as “How Wild The Wind Blows,” “Try To Remember,” and her cover of Nick’s “Poor Mum,” with other cuts restored from homemade reels by longtime Drake producer and archivist John Wood. Many of these have circulated as bootlegs for years, but — having been inspired by her work for some time now, I can confidently add that — it’s valuable to shift the focus solely on the woman behind the man in the form of an official release. Copies can be ordered here.
Below, preview two standouts that surfaced a few years back, “Love Isn’t A Right” and “Try To Remember,” along with Berkven’s film: