Nick Mulvey - Fever To The Form [EP]


In his first solo release after leaving Portico Quartet, Nick Mulvey graces us with ‘Fever to the Form’, both the title of the record and the first track (a video of which you can see at the bottom). At the onset, Mulvey hypnotises us with a repetitive guitar riff, which is intensified by the minimalism of the overall sound. The comforting strums seem, at first, akin to something Jack Johnson may have produced, but then Mulvey’s more refined acoustics settle into his contemplative lyrics - morphing and meshing into the hypnotic rhythm. He sings, “Should we ration the reasons to the charts that ignore/ of this I’ve never been sure.” The song picks up toward the second chorus as the drumbeat dips and dives into the guitar, swelling like the fever of which he sings.

‘House of Saint Give Me’ is a different creature - ominous and haunting from the beginning. Mulvey takes his time in leading us through a tale between two brothers - with momentary bouts of self-reflection. He sings, “I won’t leave him in-between, walking alone and unsure.” The harmonious hums and vocal layering affirm the story, reinforcing its bedtime folklore-esque quality. Throughout the song, Mulvey seems to be warning his sibling as well as whoever is listening to stay humble and content in knowing that you can’t know everything - “the more you know the less you can be sure”.

‘Juramidam’ carries the stripped down strings to a more textured level. The sound is very reminiscent of Paul Simon in its claps and fast tempo, though the beats of what sounds like a hang-drum give the song a tribal, ceremonious texture. Listening to this track becomes a spiritual experience when Mulvey’s vocals swing in a muffled filter, repeating, “step in the line, root mixed with the vine, it’ll bring you back your thirst” like a prayer. You can close your eyes and imagine yourself in a Brazilian Amazonian haze.

‘River Lea’ highlights Mulvey’s talent as an instrumentalist as sparse African-based plucking combines with woodwinds and Mulvey’s husky vocals. As the lyrics cry, “run away”, so do the instruments as though we are being taken through a blurry jungle chase.

If you are looking for a calming and beautiful folk album, with simple but layered guitar riffs and minimalistic qualities, take about fifteen minutes to listen to Nick Mulvey. He will enchant, soothe, and excite all at once, and you’ll wish there was more than just these four small pieces of his work available.

By Amelia Viner

A video of the first single from the EP, 'Fever To The Form'.