Music For The Week: Nick Mulvey – First Mind

Nick Mulvey

Esin Huseyin Header

Posted 30/06/14
By Esin Huseyin

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock this past week, you’ll know that it’s been a super important week for the music industry – one of the most important, and iconic, festivals has taken place; Glastonbury. Now unfortunately it’s a bit of a touchy subject for me, because I was one of the unlucky ones that was unable to get a ticket. However, every cloud has a silver lining; I was able to catch some of the performances from the comfort of my warm bed.

So, in commemoration of Glasto, my choice for this week’s music is an artist that not only has just released his highly anticipated solo album, but has also had his first solo appearance at the festival – but, it was his performance at the BBC Music Tepee that nailed it for me. Without further ado, it’s my pleasure to introduce; Nick Mulvey. Now this beautiful, beautiful man, is no stranger to the music world; he’s not only been a part of Mercury Prize nominees Portico Quartet (a jazz ensemble), he’s also educated in Ethnomusicology, and even lived and studied in Cuba – all of these inspirations appear as subtle nuances in his folk album; all of which, totally set Mr. Mulvey apart from the “folk scene”. Have a little listen to the song that kicked it all off for me, below:

First Mind is made up of 12 songs and measures in at the standard 50 minutes, but with all of the songs having such different vibes and geographical sounds, you genuinely feel like you’re travelling with Mulvey on a journey; from Spanish guitar riffs, samba influenced rhythms, and flamenco inspired claps. I would love to give you all a breakdown of every song, but I feel like I should let you all make up your minds with this one; so here are my three favourite tracks:

  • Fever To The Form: This is the second track on the album, and it happens to be the one I absolutely adore the most. This was actually the song that Mulvey performed at the BBC Music Tepee (don’t worry, I’ll embed the video below). This is probably one of the most classic sounding “folk” songs on the album, even though it has a Peruvian sounding guitar melody. It’s his rolling vocals, over the incessant guitar melodies that build up layer by layer, resulting in a jazzy drum riff and floaty bass notes. Absolutely beaut.
  • April: I have to admit that the reason why I love this song is because of the rolling Central American guitar riffs; teamed with his eerie yet ethereal vocals on top, and you’ve got yourself a song that gives me absolute chills. It’s a song that’s hypnotic, minor in sound, that sounds beautiful rather than screaming “thriller soundtrack” – okay, the music box sounds are a bit creepy, but it works. Mulvey, I don’t know how you do it – but it works.
  • The World To Me: One word; disjointed. This song has a slight blues feel to it, which actually goes quite well with the song’s subject matter. For me, I like the fact that this album ended on this song, the journey has come to an end, and all of it has almost become discombobulated in to one mixed up melody that seems to work. As the song progresses, the flow of the melody becomes more disjointed – I subconciously find myself trying to count in time to the music (soz, that’s the pianist in me).

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So, what do you think of this week’s choice? Were you at/watch highlights of Glastonbury, if so, what were your thoughts? Let us know.