Nick Drake: Late Bloomers Examined

For some time, gaining prominence in 2016 but also happening currently, the so called "late bloomers" of great art seem to catch an upswell of recognition after their passing. Post death, their discography enjoys a healthy surge of new listeners young and old. Marketing tactics such as remastered collections of their work and biographies alike ride that wave, furthering the hype and establishing the artist as somewhat of a legend. Their ghostly lyrics and melodies whisper stories from the grave, creating a timeless persona only really accessible after the untimely event of their death. It paints the artist as more of a mythical icon than a living, breathing person; a diamond in the rough so to speak.

Maybe this phenomena is simply due to the every growing shortage of quality, modern music that bears the emotional and intrinsic value that old records seem to possess. Maybe music can't truly feel nostalgic until not only the moment of inception has passed, but the creator of the work itself. It's unfortunate, but as humans we don't seem to recognize a timeless moment until it has gone and left us. For example, a small moment of innocence shared with a child may put a smile on our face, but it is not until that child has grown do we see it's depth and significance. Just as entire generations of music are re-birthed almost like clockwork and perceived as vintage yet refreshing throwbacks, I believe this to be true for the curators of the songs themselves.

With this in mind, I suggest we try and listen to music for the moment, regardless of age, and appreciate it in the manner and time period they were meant to color. Although nostalgia is an intoxicating quality, and should be examined analytically in attempts to stay ahead of the curve with coming musical trends; the presence of the moment is a powerful thing in that we can appreciate this artist in the here and now, in person, and offer supportive words and actions to the physical, human embodiment of the music. Who knows what the afterlife holds and if they will feel the warmth of our appreciation from above. All we truly have is the present and what we choose to act on or say right now.. this is a fact of life. It is our responsibility to use that for good in the tangible time given to us. That being said, please enjoy the late Nick Drake, who for some of the reasons above has gained a widespread fanbase following the years of his parting, and just imagine if the fame he refers to in his song "Fruit Tree" was in full effect during his lifetime. Would this artist have had more resources? More hope? A sense of loving awareness and appreciation of their songs? Please enjoy "Hanging on a Star" by the folk revolutionary Nick Drake.


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