With an album title such as New Mythology, it is no surprise that this record is heavily philosophical with its influences and its themes, as Nick Mulvey advocates healing through collectivism and the rejection of individualist ideals. The album is seemingly a musical conceptualisation of Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh’s doctrine of interbeing, the idea of all beings being interconnected. Such philosophical influences of Mulvey’s lyrics give the album an esoteric feeling, however, the underlying sentiment of togetherness is one that is accessible to all.
The closeness of the album's beginner A Prayer of My Own feels almost intrusive as though we are listening to the impassioned innermost thoughts of Mulvey. Star Nation feels to be written as a direct counter to the individualistic attitudes that are culturally ubiquitous with modern society, as Mulvey gently sings that “The time of the lone wolf is done”. The pulsating, bass synths of the reworked Wild Beasts track Mecca gorgeously blend with the plucked guitar lines. The cover is exquisitely chosen for the album as the lyrical content of the song fits snugly within the overarching album themes. Although the highbrow philosophy and the preaching do come dangerously close to tiptoeing into the pretentious, Mulvey does well to keep the core message of the importance of the collective understandable.
The worldly rhythmic influences upon the album quickly reveal themselves throughout the tracks. The Gift grows through Latin fused, fretted strums and synth beats, whilst Sea Inside (Third Way) rises and falls with afro-tinged chanting as Mulvey urges to “help your brothers home”. Mulvey’s delivery of Another Way to Be is tinged with Afro-Caribbean undertones as he croons “Sun in the sky for free/Hail on the Aegean Sea”. The international diversity of Mulvey’s musical craftsmanship makes for a wholly beguiling listening experience.
Mulvey wanted this album “to provide refuge for listeners, refuge from these times”, and it’s hard to argue that a little escapism is not what is necessary to soothe our anxiety-ridden souls. The relentlessness of the depressing news cycle seems never-ending as we hop from a global pandemic into a food shortage crisis causing war in Ukraine. So maybe what we all need is to embrace our inner hippie and to fully assimilate to the collective idealism of Mulvey’s musical mantras.