Former Portico Quartet member Nick Mulvey exchanged the Hang – a relatively new Swiss percussion instrument made of steel – for the guitar a couple of years ago. After traveling the world with Laura Mvula and Lianne La Havas – for whom he was an opening act – and taking in musical influences from South America and Africa, Mulvey released his debut album ‘First Mind’ in 2014. Mulvey’s shift from jazz to pop is not a radical departure: on the guitar he produces the same refined, hypnotic groove as he used to on the Hang.
The forthcoming and second album ‘Wake Up Now’ (Fiction Records) is the result of a journey of self-enquiry. It’s is a profound album, but not a heavy or inaccessible one. The album title refers to, among others, the refugee crisis. Mulvey took the stories of refugees and turned them into a powerful, poetic song named ‘Myela’.
Mulvey is inspired by Nick Drake, Steve Reich and Brian Eno but also took some advice from David Bowie who came to him in a dream: “Bowie was telling me exactly where to place my fingers on the guitar neck- new chord shapes to play. You’re not going to argue you with him, are you?”