Similarly to the sounds of an orchestral warm-up, the first few melodic tones we come in contact with in David Drake’s new single and music video “Touch the Burning Sky” seem drawn as much from nature as they were tangible, physical instruments. The video for the song alludes to the theme this initial sonic offering seems to reference, but it isn’t until the instrumentation comes into full focus around 0:14 that we’re able to feel the complete presence of its underlying emotionality. Drake hasn’t started to serenade us yet, and already the mood has been set for every word he’ll sing.
When the lead vocal does find its way to the forefront of the mix, it immediately becomes the most cutting and effective element for us to tune-into here. There’s a melancholic overtone to the statements Drake makes in “Touch the Burning Sky,” and yet he never sounds particularly somber in his execution. He’s coupling the darkness with a light that wouldn’t have been present had a different singer been at the helm of this track, and for a young player trying to make a name for himself in the American underground, that’s a defining achievement he should be very proud of.
“Touch the Burning Sky” concludes with an instrumental tizzy that starts to drift towards psychedelic territory before re-centering and returning us to the cradling rhythm we first began with. While I had no knowledge of David Drake’s music before this summer, I think he’s already proven himself ready to present audiences with a complete LP of his artistry either in 2020 or 2021. He’s got a trademark tonality he’s manipulating into pure gold in “Touch the Burning Sky” and its video, and his adherence to anti-commercial aesthetics tells me we can anticipate a lot more original content as he perfects the blueprint used in this track.