PREMIERE: Arresting folk at its best, Angharad Drake stuns on her debut Sword

Purveyor of sweet dreams, Brisbane-based singer-songwriter Angharad Drake makes enchanting folk tunes. Lulling you into a peaceful state with her lullaby melodies, Drake elicits endless daydreams about love. Now, cutting deeper still into love’s highs and lows, her debut album Sword is one hypnotising listen.

Angharad Drake Sword

Brisbane folk songstress Angharad Drake opens the floodgates with her heartfelt debut album Sword. Drenched in tales of lost love, it cuts to the bone.

After releasing a bunch of EPs and playing plenty of gigs around Brissy, Drake has proven to be something special. Wearing her heart on her sleeve, her honest and intimate songs have won over fans nationwide. Bringing together some musically-talented mates (including Alexander Mitchell from Moses Gunn Collective, Furrs and The Deckchairs) to help record her new tunes at Brisbane’s Soundtekoma Studios, Drake’s album is loaded with even more endearingly honest tales about love.

Once some gentle guitar strumming eases us into the dreamy soundscape, Drake’s emotional croon exposes the Sword’s beating heart. Laying it bare on the title track, Drake admits: “My heart was aching for you / But I kept on dreaming about deep blue / And all that I’ve learnt about love is that love keeps its guns loaded / And all that I’ve learnt about pain is that pain keeps its arms open.” As the steady drum beat rises and falls with Drake’s soothing, impassioned vocals, the tune suspends you in a land where memories and fantasies collide.

Submerging deeper into Drake’s “deep blue” of truths, Water is a flood of honesty. Amid the stream of guitar strumming, Drake earnestly shares that, “There will be no understating this / I have done much more than I’ll confess with all these secrets I can’t speak and all these lies I couldn’t keep / The water gets cold / The water gets deep.” As waves of harmonies confess her secrets, the percussion swells and amplifies the tune’s beautifully ethereal mood.

Wistful tracks like Majesty and Down are laden with soft guitar and dreamy harmonies. Simple but sweet folk tunes, they really steal your heart. But, the most heartrending tale is final track Nobody Believes. Swollen with sadness, its delicate melody is soaked in longing and regret. Drake’s yearning paints the tragedy: “There’s a light on in the kitchen / But my love is gone.” As she searches her soul for answers to why her love has left, she ends with the question, “Did I love you enough?” and you feel her sadness wash over you.

A storyteller of lullabies laced in love’s woes, Drake’s honesty is her most endearing quality. With her album out now, do yourself a favour and feast your ears on her sweet melodies and spellbinding harmonies as she hits the road on her Sword tour this month.

19 November – Canberra Musicians Club
20-22 November – Majors Creek Festival
22 November – Petersham Bowls Club
27 November – Jungle Love Festival