Wake Up Now
Stirring second solo album from one-time Portico Quartet member. After playing silvery percussion instrument the Hang with modern jazz ensemble Portico Quartet, Nick Mulvey compacted his music into blockier, more traditional singer-songwriter shapes with 2014’s solo debut First Mind. Wake Up Now is the next stage in the resulting David Gray reboot, his wholesome cold-pressed songs spiked with wheatgrass electronics and earnest stateof-the-globe philosophising. The humane, multilayered narrative of Myela, his admirable charity single for Help Refugees UK, is his clearest statement of intent; there’s also a reference to fracking on We Are Never Apart, while Transform Your Game (We Remain) or Mountain To Move call for active enlightenment. How much consciousness can be raised by songs that occasionally sound like Jim O’Rourke reinterpreting Dancing In The Moonlight or a busker’s Bon Iver is open to question, but at least Wake Up Now lifts its voice in protest during turbulent times, rising even when it doesn’t quite shine.