Nearly four years have passed since I was first introduced to the folk infused, indie singer-songwriting of Nick Mulvey. From a chilly autumnal evening at Brudenell Games Room via a Mercury nominated debut album and after the birth of his first child, Mulvey returns to Leeds with slick sophomore record Wake Up Now.
We discuss the album’s themes and attitudes. “I think I was ready, in a new way as a songwriter, to engage with some things that were going on in the world. The world seems to be in so much transition and the noises of the transition and the noises of the suffering are just so present these days that I felt like, if I didn’t write about it, it would be really strange.”
Alongside this outward perspective, Mulvey describes a gravitation towards self inquiry. “I ask some very fundamental questions that you never really heard so much in school, you know. Like what is the nature of reality? What is the idea of our consciousness? To whom do my senses report to? What am I underneath all of the names and labels, you know. And the relationship that greater self knowledge can have to these bigger problems in the world.”
Mulvey, evidently an artist with great reflective ability talks about a difference in collaborative emphasis when putting this second album together. “With First Mind I had a circle of really talented beings around me, really good musicians but through controlling it, I was limiting how exciting and how free the band could be. So this time, right at the beginning of the album process I got them together and I said I’m not going to tell you what to do. You’re here because I chose you to be here, let’s go.”
Having grown up with his parent’s record collection, which featured classics such as Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones and Joni Mitchell, Mulvey highlights his absorbent nature when it comes to music listening. “I just love music, man. If you love a style of music then you love its ancestors and you love its cousins. I believe there are two types of music; good music and bad music. I really do. And I love good music, whatever the style. I don’t really think in terms of genre.”
Mulvey looks forward to a year out on the road with his new family, during which I am sure many more delicately philosophical ponderings will blossom into more songs we will one day be singing along to. In the mean time we can enjoy a body of work that represents an artist, brilliantly articulating a wholesome and sensitive approach to life.
I believe there are two types of music; good music and bad music. I really do. And I love good music, whatever the style.Nick Mulvey
Nick Mulvey plays at The Chapel on Saturday October 7. www.nickmulvey.com