I saw Nick Mulvey support Laura Marling last year and was absolutely captivated by his simple, beautiful melodies. I was concerned a move into the studio would result in Mulvey losing this simplicity, but luckily, the record is raw, striking and holds true to his trance-like sound.
First Mind is an album of love songs – this isn’t a folk record of break-ups and cynicism. Mulvey’s characteristic humming and intricate strumming flow neatly into place with every song on this album of romantic lullabies. The songs may slow in pace, but every single one is connected by this feeling of animation. These songs are about waves of rhythm – soulful, flowing strains, held together by chilled, curving melodies that don’t give way. “It’s about repetition, hypnotic music, the groove”. This feeling of warmth and vibrancy adds to the romance of the EP. This is a record for couples.
There’s something very much of the summertime in this record and seems to have been released with that in mind. Nick Mulvey as a concept was formed in Honduras. His maiden-voyage into solo-performance was first tested out on the Hondurans that heard Mulvey piecing together parts of songs he’d not quite formulated. The high notes chords Mulvey plays on ‘Fever To The Form’ and ‘Meet Me There’ sounds almost Hawaiian. The melodies jump from North American to African in ‘Juramidam’. Nitrous adds a Hawaiian slide to an otherwise European melody on a beautifully integrated cover of Olive’s ‘You’re Not Alone’. Mulvey’s studies of ethnomusicology shine through on First Mind and add layers to the music you might not generally encounter from an English singer-songwriter.
Words: Joseph Merriman