This Album Changed My Life: Nick Drake – Pink Moon (1972)

Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Anna Mieke on the comfort she gets from Drake’s final album

The album reminds me of late night swimming in Lake Geneva, bussing my way through Spain, hot, lazy days in back gardens of Dublin and staying in a cottage on a cliff in Kerry. Photograph: James Corcoran Hodgins

The album reminds me of late night swimming in Lake Geneva, bussing my way through Spain, hot, lazy days in back gardens of Dublin and staying in a cottage on a cliff in Kerry. Photograph: James Corcoran Hodgins

 

Pink Moon has the curious ability of making it seem like I’ve known the album my entire life. It feels like somewhat of a soundtrack for my life, so familiar yet I cannot remember when I first heard his music.

The album reminds me of late night swimming in Lake Geneva in Lausanne. It reminds me of bussing my way through Spain and finally settling in Granada for over a year. No Spanish, no money, no house - it was a precarious start but an important year, as I veered more and more towards songwriting and performing. It reminds me of hot, lazy days in back gardens of Dublin.

Pink Moon was Nick Drake’s last album before he died.
Pink Moon was Nick Drake’s last album before he died.

It reminds me of staying in a cottage on a cliff in Kerry for two weeks. I’d rented a car and would spend hours driving along the Kerry coastline with Pink Moon on repeat. It has been my ‘go-to’ album for so many years and his songs have the inexplicable ability of bringing a calmness no matter the place I’m in.

At times trance-like, with its repetitive rhythms, each song flows from one to the other with such fluidity. It is my favourite album of Drake’s, the solo guitar and singing offer a simplicity and closeness that is a welcome respite. It is warm and familiar, and particularly poignant knowing it was the last album he recorded before he died.

Anna Mieke’s debut album Idle Mind is out Friday 26th April. She performs live at The Spirit Store, Dundalk (April 24th), Plugd, Cork (April 25th), the Unitarian Church, Dublin (April 26th), and the Róisín Dubh, Galway (April 27th), and kick off the festival season at Feile na Bealtaine, Dingle (May 5th), and It Takes a Village Festival, Trabolgan, East Cork (May 12th). 

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