Running the back alley his way, as a one-man band split into a full four-piece, David Drake delivers a smashingly creative performance in the music video for his new single “Shooting Arrows at the Sun.” In avoiding any temptation to invite unnecessary props and elements into the big picture here, Drake ensures that this wildly flamboyant video is more about the music than it is any surface level cosmetics. His is a sound that requires some thought to completely appreciate, and thus, he rightly keeps the fluff off of the field in this game altogether.
There’s a lot of focus on the guitar parts in this song right out of the gate, but I can certainly understand why. Whether lightly distorted, set afire or acoustic in tone, the strings dance alongside the vocal Drake provides all too seamlessly here, and I must say that the overall flow of the music (and its video) benefits from this fact. The guitars, particularly in their more stripped-down moments, afford a noir quality to the music in an otherwise colorful atmosphere, and considering the lack of character in a lot of pop today, that makes this indie listen all the more of a find.
The rhythm in this single is essentially the antithesis of the robust raucousness coming from David Drake’s contemporaries in 2020, but that could be what makes the swing of the percussion all the more memorable in this instance. By choosing to distinguish the foundational cornerstones of his sound in this song with elements that stand outside of the current norm in his scene, he’s stepping away from being lumped in with any of his peers – good or bad – which is something that a lot of independent artists only wish they could do. They could learn a lot from this approach, and that’s putting it quite mildly.
Immediately when checking out the video for “Shooting Arrows at the Sun,” it’s hard to ignore the fascinating blend of texture and tonality in the subtle bass and drum components at the bottom of the mix. Even the little, seemingly insignificant details within the pot matter to this artist, as would any ingredient when concocting a recipe for melodic success. He’s taking every part of his work seriously, which is a lot more than I can say for some of his better-bankrolled counterparts on both the east and west coasts this summer.
If you prefer listening to content that’s a little outside of the box to the traditional, frequently mundane melodies of the American mainstream market, you need to consider David Drake’s latest release a must-listen this month. Drake gives us the whole nine in “Shooting Arrows at the Sun” while holding back from overstepping his bounds within the realm of alternative experimentation. I have a feeling this is just a sample of what’s still to come from his camp in the next couple of years, and with any luck, we’ll see another proper album under his name on record store shelves a lot sooner than later.