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4.6 out of 5 stars
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4.6 out of 5 stars
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Nick Mulvey has been one of the undisputed breakthrough artists of 2014. With his début album, “First Mind” being nominated for the Mercury Prize and most of his many tour dates selling out, there haven't been many indie artists who have enjoyed as successful a year as him. Given the praise for the album, I decided to check it out for myself and was pleased to discover that the acclaim is well deserved, as “First Mind” is an intriguing, beguiling album which has been on heavy rotation on my stereo since I bought it back in August. Full of looping rhythms and rotating musical themes, many of the tracks have the common trait of being able to send the listener into an involved, almost trance-like state listening to them. Mulvey has an ear for an interesting rhythm, having studied music in Cuba and been part of the Portico Quartet, a group described as 'electronica meets future-jazz', and accentuating the beat is an important characteristic of his music, even when strumming or picking out a riff or melody on his guitar.

Although it may take the listener a few plays of the album to really get to grips with everything Mulvey is trying to communicate with this work, it soon becomes clear that there isn't a bad song on it. Indeed, there are more than a handful of thoroughly superb songs on “First Mind”. “Fever To The Form”, for example, is a corker, starting with a simple strummed guitar chord sequence, adding vocals and then slowly, instrument-by-instrument, becomes a powerful piece of music, yet still retains a pleasing mellow characteristic. The atmospheric “April” features Nick's mournful vocals and a picked arpeggio dancing over haunting synth chords in the background, whereas the excellent “Juramidam” is a much more forthright affair, featuring a slightly distorted acoustic guitar (with some nice harmonics for good measure) over a relentless, driving rhythm which increases in stature and becomes embellished with more instruments until the song reaches a moody, magnificent climax and then winds back down. “Cucurucu” radiates warmth, a tale of a child sitting underneath a piano listening his mother singing; it is a song with a great heart.

Another one of the many highlights is “Meet Me There” which constructs a masterful groove before reaching thrilling, soaring heights on the last chorus and the very last track, “The World To Me” is another fine and rather sparse example of Mulvey's intricate and distinctive songwriting style, finishing the album with aplomb. Overall, this album has a great vibe and it deserves all of the acclaim which has been lavished upon it this year. Listening to it from start to finish is simultaneously soothing and exciting, if that isn't too much of a contradiction. The only one misstep, if you can call it that, is quoting Olive's “You're Not Alone” (both lyrics and melody) on “Nitrous”; on an album with so much originality, the idea feels misplaced. Still, if that is the only thing that doesn't work, Mulvey must be doing something right and, in such a fickle, easily-hyped music industry, it is genuinely pleasing to hear an album that really does live up to all of the critical acclaim.
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on 22 June 2014
Former Jazz musician, Nick Mulvey is an Alt/Folk singer/songwriter from Cambridge England who was short listed by the BBC for "the sound of 2014".
He has studied a variety of cultural music and this is evident in his debut full length release "First Mind".
It's an album full of rhythmic acoustic guitar, gentle percussive beats and intelligent lyrics. A highly impressive first LP.
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on 28 August 2014
I do not normally review CD's as they are so subjective - but I am making an exception in this case because it is by far and away the best CD I have bought in ages! Real chill out music, interesting instruments and fantastic voice.
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on 25 June 2014
Loved it! Beautifully engrossing songs that combine global sounds with British sentiments of nature, love and relationships. Clever guitar skills, catchy tunes all topped off with his clear vocals.
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on 1 June 2014
After seeing him perform 'Fever to the Form' on 'Later with Jools Holland, I immediately bought the album.
I was not disappointed!
In a nutshell, think of this as my dream line-up for the best gig ever: Nick Mulvey, James Vincent McMorrow ('Early in the morning'), Fionn Regan ('The end of history'), Tom McRae ('Tom McRae').
That is the company this man keeps in my subconscious musical reference point mind.
I am so excited to see how this album 'beds-in' & 'pans-out' as the weeks & months and years pass. One thing I know already is that there is lots more for this album to give me, the mark of real quality, originality and unique genius - no overstatement here - sometimes you just know you have discovered something truly special.
Thank you Nick.
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on 17 May 2014
Mulvey's songwriting ability is phenomenal. Beautiful, intricate guitar work. Great voice. And he's not bad at humming either! This is a truly classy debut and very accessible in a low key, folksy, singer-songwriter style. Get it now - you'll be playing it all summer and probably far beyond. Catch him live if you can.
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on 5 June 2014
Very nice debut. Very chilled, beautiful guitar playing and a voice that draws you in. Purchased on a whim after hearing Cucurucu and Meet Me There on Radio 1 and don't regret it one bit.

Whole album is great but April, Juramidam and I Don't Want To Go Home are highlights.

Highly recommended
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on 15 February 2015
Wasn't sure about this to begin with - took a fair few listens for the tunes and lyrics to start coming through and to feel the emotion in the vocals. There are a lot of samey singer songwriters out there who aren't doing much - this is a bit special!
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on 25 August 2015
Bought this for a friend having discovered him on Spotify. Great album. A little like Jose Gonzalez, due to latin influence of his cuban background, though more interesting and contemporary arrangements. Fever to the Form and Cucurucu are my highlights, can't stop listening to them. Nice guitarist, his voice is a little weak, but I can get past that.
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on 15 July 2014
Ok so every albumn has a couple of songs one does not, ummm agree with completely. Well this is no exceptions, however, saying that Nick Mulvey has a great voice, the sounds are fantastic (if you like guitar etc) and this is very listenable to album, I have my favourites and love travelling in the car with this ...quite loud in fact.
So yes, hats off to Mr Mulvey as a great albumn, loved it and loved the fact that I just caught him singing on the TV from Glastonbury, just so pleased to have heard him live so to speak.
Beautiful compliations and well, just good for the soul, ears and heart really.

:o) xx
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