“WHEN you’re finished changing, you’re finished,” is how the antiquated adage from founding father Benjamin Franklin goes. That ability to be flexible and change when the time is right. Hundreds of years-ago that famous line was uttered, but it’s never felt more relevant, and for former modern-jazz-turned-songwriter-come-newly-christened-father Nick Mulvey, changing and maturing has always been apt for his life.
Back out on the road and our airwaves, Mulvey returns to our senses like an old, well-travelled friend briefly back ashore for their homecoming.
And with his new single ‘Unconditional’ demonstrating a new found pop-drenched sound, the 32-year-old caught up with Quenched before his slot at this year’s Camp Bestival, amid a brief break from entertaining his new nine-month-old son Inca.
“He loves to sing,” Mulvey told Quenched as Inca bleats out another round of ‘rah, rah, rah’ in the back of his car.
“It’s not a new song or going on the album but he loves singing his song. I mean he’s destroying my street cred but he’s great.”
Since his debut album First Mind dropped in 2014, life has become a whistle stop tour of venues, miles and award ceremonies.
It was a world away from his days as percussionist in the acclaimed Portico Quartet. But unsurprising, much like anything Mulvey does there is thought and understanding that underlies what he does.
Mulvey said: “I liked touring the first record but we toured it a lot so when we finished it, the first thing I did was take a break because touring by very nature is very repetitive.
“So when this opportunity came for the second album I wanted it to be with my friends.
“I surrendered that bit of control to them, but it meant I could focus on different aspects of the sound.
“Rather than me just doing all the instruments over and over, it was this spontaneous sound which gave us some interesting stuff from the end of it.”
He added: “But to be honest as a band now we’re still finding out what works and what doesn’t which makes it even more exciting.”
The singer tells Quenched that although the hints of soft electronica that decorates his new single ‘Unconditional’ are evident, the album retains the joyous folk-led sound of his debut. Lyrics remain personal, reflecting on a life embroiled in music and experience.
With Inca now in toe, those experiences will naturally now change.
“It’s going to be different now on tour,” Mulvey said.
“I couldn’t imagine being away from him for two-years at a time and my partner definitely doesn’t want that.
“But she’s in the band so I think for the festival shows he might come along for a couple of them and when we head out on tour in October I think my partner’s mother will come on the road with us which will make it a family affair.”
New music, new band, new family members. It doesn’t look like Mulvey’s life is going to stop changing any time soon.
Interview by Clive Hammond