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William D Drake: Revere Reach

Arresting fifth solo album from Ex-Cardiacs man.

There aren’t too many singers who could pull off a line like ‘A giddy haze has come to me as I lead my donkey to water,’ butwith his querulous rasp ex-Cardiacs keyboard player/vocalist William D Drake does so with a jaunty conviction.

Replete with wry humour, the follow-up to 2011’s sublime The Rising Of The Lights has an out-of-time feel offering another surreally skewed view of an English village green and beyond; a fantasia where the bastions of normality are transposed into a curious place where nothing is quite as it seems. Joined by his regular musical repertory company that includes James and Richard Larcombe (Stars In Battledress) and woodwind player Nicky Baigent, Drake propels everything via his trademark harmonium and retro-sounding keyboards, lending the material a rustic quality. Yet such pastoral overtones are craftily subverted, and quirky time signatures are strafed by chugging horns, warbling organ and spooky celeste. In places the results are a peculiarly energetic amalgam of Michael Nyman-like minimalism crossed with a hybrid, rousing folk-rock. Revere Reach is richly detailed, consistently impressive and, at times, deeply affecting.