Love the Drake. Best comparo I can think of might be Iron & Wine, "The Creek Drank the Cradle" and "Our Endless Numbered Days". And maybe Bonnie "Prince" Billy, "Master and Everyone". All great stuff.
I'm a huge Nick Drake fan, but I've never heard anyone who's really similar, but I'd consider Suzanne Vega, especially her 1st album and 'Days of Open Hand'. you also might check out Will Oldham's 'Master and Everyone'. Also, Elliott Smith; my favorite is XO, but his first two, S/T and 'Either/Or' are more stripped down.
David Sylvian. Blemish fits what you're describing, and is both bleak and beautiful. Not for beginners, but if you're already there, a great album.
Otherwise, I'd start with Dead Bees on a Cake, or Brilliant Trees.
I'll second Iron and Wine.
If you're in a happy mood, Jack Johnson has put out several great albums. Brushfire Fairytales is a little more pensive, and later albums have a great laid back mood. All well recorded, without drawing attention to it.
Drake is awesome. Check out Yo La Tengo - And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out. Also early Cure and Depeche Mode. For a female variation that is a bit more operatic, there is Dead Can Dance - Within the Realm of a Dying Sun, and, Into the Labyrinth (you will love track 3).
Also a fan of Nick Drake here.
Not the same but Brit also, try Tindersticks.
Hey Nick! Fantastic stuff. Maybe Calexico. Iron and Wine did some stuff with them as well that turned out really good.
I purchased the new Nick Drake Fruit Tree collection on LP this weekend, not that I did not have the material already on British Island LPs and the CD Fruit Tree set. First, the LPs were supposed to be pressed at that excellent Pallas facility in Germany. They were not, but in fact, were pressed at that crap plant in the Czech Republic that does the Get Back garbage. Disc one had a defect, so I took it back to my local record store. The record buyer there told me the manufacturers website had a note that all of the sets were defective and kindly took the whole mess back. In addition to all this, the set is from digital masters, the Czech facility not even having an open reel tape player. Live and learn. For the same money I will be buying the Led Zep Mother Ship, half-speed mastered by Stan Ricker on good ol' US 180 gram vinyl. If you are looking for Drake LPs, I would suggest the British Island LPs, the earlier British Fruit tree set, or even the US Hannibal Fruit Tree. Best of luck.
wow! thanks Viridian for the heads up about the Nick Drake box reissue! (I knew it was too good to be true, but damn!)
I agree about David Sylvian but really prefer Gone To Earth, the remastered 2 CD version.
Jeff Buckley's "Grace."
Want to get in on this for future purchases.
Chris Whitley - Perfect Day
And just so you don't get confused, Bonnie "Prince" Billy IS Will Oldham.
Iron & Wine & Jose Gonzales
David Sylvian's best has got to be "Secrets of the Beehive"
Elliot Smith is another artist that will appeal to Nick Drake fans. Sad, quiet, beautiful music. Start with X/O.
I may be way off base here, but I put early Joni Mitchell in the category. Hear me out for a moment. The great wordplay, the sense of isolation, even the mean guitar tunings, all add up to that stark, vast landscape that is, at once, familiar and somewhat altered.
The good part is that I haven't listened to most of the above recommendations, save Joni Mitchell,Jeff Buckley and Suzanne Vega. Somehow I feel a female voice won't quite be there, if you know what I mean. But I'll try out early Joni M. Thanks everybody.
Point taken; I suppose that nothing but Nick Drake, really is.
Thought of another one -- Alexi Murdoch -- very much in the Nick Drake vein. Jose Gonzalez another good one. Also, it's funny -- I do think of the early Joni Mitchell in the same vein, though on the surface there's little similar other than using alternate tunings.
The second I read the post, I thought "Alexi Murdoch." I read all the posts to make sure I wasn't repeating anyone, get to the bottom, and there you are Darkj. Great call.
I have to second Alexi Murdoch as very similar to Nick Drake, but so similar in fact that I might not even recommend him. He's basically a rip-off of Nick Drake directly. For example - One of Nick Drake's top songs: "Pink Moon." One of Alexi Murdoch's top songs: "Orange Sky."
His lyrical presentation is very similar, same stripped-down shoe-gazing acoustics, and sad but hopeful at times. I like it quite a bit, but within the context of knowing it has already been done before.
Good call on Alexi Murdoch. Orange Sky is a GREAT song.
Try Tim Buckley....Goodbye and Hello...amazon has them used for $5..new $9... Jeff's father
Thanks again. I listened to a couple of clips on the internet from Alexi Murdoch's 'Time without consequence', and yes, there were deifinite echoes of Drake. Perhaps as close as anyone can possibly get, but (unfortunately0 that's still not very close. Maybe there will never be anyone like him. I played the Pink Moon album twice last evening, and it filled my living room with magic.
If you haven't listened to Sufjan Stevens "Come On Feel The Illinoise" yet you really should. I seriously put this cd on every day for nearly three weeks. It will give you goose bumps and that doesn't happen as often as it used to.
That is a great Sufjan album.