Single Review: Nick Mulvey – Begin Again
Megan Frost reviews Nick Mulvey’s latest single.
Featuring on his latest EP, Nick Mulvey’s recent single ‘Begin Again’ involves the African-inspired beats that he has grativated towards throughout his career. Unlike Mulvey’s fingerpicked guitar style exhibited in ‘Hope She’ll be Happier’ – also released on the EP – ‘Begin Again’ opens with gentle guitar strumming that carries throughout.
Mulvey seems to always have this ease in his songs
Interestingly, the single sounds akin to ‘Unconditional’ featured on his 2017 album Wake Up Now. However, ‘Begin Again’ is a more relaxed version of the infectious ‘Unconditional’; it doesn’t build up, it doesn’t have bass, and its backing vocals are only hushed female vocals echoing Mulvey.
Mulvey seems to always have this ease in his songs, even though most of them involve fiddly fingerpicking. ‘Begin Again’ continues this style since it carries repetitions of chord progressions and vocals: an example being the rhythmic “rain in the river there’s a river running through”. Mulvey embeds all sounds into layers, including the light beat that comes from the strumming of the guitar itself rather than a drumbeat. He showcases his fiddlier guitar style by letting it take over in the bridge; it sounds chaotic, rapidly key-changing before reverting back to the melody. Here, the guitar becomes a cross between fingerpicking and strumming.
‘Begin Again’ is catchy with a hypnotic feel, especially since the backing vocals repeat what Mulvey says as though hypnotised themselves. More recently, Mulvey has released a Little Dragon remix to the song which replaces his guitar with electronics. Indeed, Mulvey continuously recycles his own rhythms, transforming them into different songs.