Kris Drever: If Wishes Were Horses

review drever x1 cong

We reviewed the excellent Blair Dunlop last week, putting new life into folk. Drever’s day job is with Lau, famed for improvisation and adding electronica and fancy production, also putting new life into folk.

This solo album shows that Drever still loves the old stuff, and it’s about as traditional a folk album as you could wish for, albeit one that sounds fresh. It’s chiefly Drever and acoustic guitar singing about life, love, sex and money. It’s a straightforward sound, of one man telling stories to music. None of that Lau trickery here.

Opener I Didn’t Try Hard Enough is a chipper tune despite its title, which reads as if it’s a man who didn’t save his money for a rainy day — he’s lost his job — but is about a man whose partner has left him because his failings were in the relationship department.

Track two, When We Roll In The Morning, is conversely slower than its name might suggest, telling a tale about a man and his third love (third wife?). It’s a lovely little song. Shipwrecked sounds like a song of the sea from his native Orkney but it seems to be about a man who uses satnav rather than a radar. Other songs are more personal: Five Past Two has him procrastinating at home, “These ballads aren’t going to learn themselves”.

Of the rest, Capernaum — the only song he didn’t write — has a nice snap to it.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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