If Wishes Were Horses
Kris Drever Reveal/Planet
A pithy verse embedded in the title track of If Wishes Were Horses expresses sentiments that no doubt will resonate with voters in Australia today: “I wish that politicians’ ties / would tighten up when they told lies.” Irresistibly catchy, with funky guitar chords, the song typifies the literate and lively brand of contemporary folk-acoustic pop music that is a hallmark of Kris Drever’s third solo album. Every track on the Scot’s finest release is a wee gem, perfectly arranged and performed by the singer- songwriter with consummate accompaniment from a select backing crew. Thoughtful reflections on love and life permeate, including sharp sociopolitical observations velvet-wrapped in Drever’s deliciously dulcet tone. Hard Year hits a bullseye with its opening lines: “Don’t let the TV grind you down; it’s only fear / The world still goes round the sun once every year.” With only one non-original, the trio Lau’s frontman has given full vent to his songwriting capabilities. Drever is at his most poetic in The Longest Day, in higher register than elsewhere over a gorgeous McCartney-esque melody accompanied by just guitar and drone. A catchy rendition of the Edinburgh paean Capernaum features Drever and fellow gun Ian Carr’s guitars interlocking exquisitely. Louis Abbott’s clapsticks provide an efficient pulse to a closing homage to Drever’s native Orkney Islands.