Randomly enough, this one is a recommenation from the author James Russell (of The Dragon Defenders fame; our kids love ’em) which was seen on his social media by Rhianon. I’m not sure who to thank. But thanks.

Nick Mulvey is a singer-songwriter who first gained fame with the Mercury Prize-nominated instrumental jazz group Portico Quartet, before setting out on a solo adventure with debut album First Mind picking him up another Mercury Prize nom.

Musically, Mulvey lands somewhere between pop, alternative and folk, often combining all three, as on second track “Transform Your Game” – think someone like Sufjan Stevens or Devandra Banhart. It doesn’t always work – I found the repetition of “Myela” somewhat annoying, despite the positive message of the song – but Mulvey gets it right more often than not.

The album focuses lyrically on the migrant crisis in Europe, starting in “Myela”, and continuing into my favourite “We Are Never Apart” as Mulvey sings ‘Knowing who we are / And our place in the stars / And now we are never really apart’ over a simple guitar and piano chord progression topped with a gorgeous string section.

The whole album has a positive, almost hopeful feel about it. It’s actually kind of interesting to pick that up just from the music, before the lyric even joins in. I enjoyed this one.

CLTM (Chris Listens To Music) is my attempt to listen to a new album every day; you can follow my efforts on Instagram here (and send recommendations), and if you like what I’m doing, support my efforts by shouting me a cuppa at Buy Me A Coffee.