[sic] Magazine

First Glances – Nick Mulvey

It’s a bold move ditching a Mercury Music Prize-nominated ensemble in favour of striking it out on your own. Still, more than a few years have now passed since experimental percussive outfit Portico Quartet got that nod and even a couple since Nick Mulvey took the plunge to leave, but today, on the eve of his debut EP release, he may just be about to prove his decision was the right one.

Don’t write him off as some sort of common-or-garden acoustic slinger neither, despite the first impressions that the EP’s title track may give you. Sure, it opens with intricate finger-folk, but that big warm voice of his is an instrument in itself, the track then rounding out with intelligent strings and Mulvey’s ear-filling hum. It’s a cut not miles away from, say, Sam Beam ‘s crossroad-moment on The Shepherd’s Dog when he started branching out from trad beard-folk.

The playing on “House Of St Give Me” is as fine as any you’ll hear this year too, though it’s chilly accompaniment of cello only hints at the compositional ethno-meditative jam it’ll become later. Next, the very English gent that is “Juramidam” has a cool African accent to it, ideal perhaps for watching the technicolour vibrancy of Kenya roll by the windows of one’s 4X4 whilst on safari.

EP closer, “River Lea”, serves as Mulvey’s experimental outlet, his plucked strings mixing with drone, an uneasy whistle, boneshaker melody and hand-drummed rhythm. Mulvey holds these different worlds together impressively, if a little miraculously at times. Yet, if the Fever To The Form EP is the tip-of-the-iceberg showcase it’s suggesting, then a sure-to-follow long-player could be a real treat.

~The Fever To The Form EP is released 17th June 2013 on Communion/Fiction .~