A broad project that moves from sublime tranquility to haunting darkness...

The ability to communicate is nothing,nowhere.’s strongest asset. A true independent voice in current songwriting, he knows how to elevate and connect with listeners.

Story is everything. A writer of conviction and authenticity, his narrative provides a feeling of being there with him, sensing some of the turmoil he goes through.

Vermont and Massachusetts based musician and songwriter Joe Mulherin, who is also an accomplished filmmaker, has already had some inner demons to fight. On this record he invites you into parts of his psyche, and as he ransacks it, he offers some invaluable insight.

Distinctly intimate and stripped-back, each track exhibits its own degree of vulnerability. It is the idiosyncratic characteristic of this record; the sense of rawness in pure form. Sublime, tranquil moments are there to be enjoyed, and equally, some haunting nightmarish moments of darkness are portrayed. Anxiety, self-acceptance, fear socialising, isolation, love and friendships are topics of exploration.

Attempts to imagine Nick Drake in a present-day folk, alt-rock setting lead to nothing,nowhere. A gifted guitar player, each track on this collection of one takes is focused on eloquent playing. Finger picking, solos, chords and light touches on strings depict a feeling, motive or a measure of health. Vocally, it’s bold and persuasive, there’s determination and a fire, with a high pitch and an expression coming from a deep place within.

Opening song ‘hammer (one take)’ is a throwback to some lonely days in high school where he probably felt out of place. A contrast is created through his triumph of pursuing and achieving dreams without conventional backing. “I did it all on my own, no promo / I got fans gettin' tats of my logo. I remember when nobody came to my shows”, he insists.

The all-absorbing ‘wooden home (one take)’ offers detailed, astute soul searching and self-questioning, and a desire to “Be a better man / fucking learn to socialise” is expressed. With a duration of six minutes and seven seconds, its central position makes it stand out.

A fulfilling arrangement incorporating piano and strings, ‘ornament (one take)’ is an astonishing spectacle where emotive lyrics are delivered in full voice. ‘cherry red (one take)’ constitutes absorbing minutes. Seemingly, tackling his own reaction to a best friend’s drinking problem, and the action he took, it represents a dramatic moment of truth.

A soulful and revelatory journey documented with the accuracy of a reporter, this inner outing is striking and profound. Virtuous and original, there is no doubt that nothing,nowhere. deserves to be the name on everybody’s lips. Right now, and for the foreseeable future.

8/10

Words: Susan Hansen

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