Why Nick Mulvey Calls His ‘Protest’ Songs ‘Protection’ Songs

Nick Mulvey doesn’t want to give people their own epiphanies. The “Fever to the Form” singer explained his choice to keep music open to fan interpretation. Still, while visiting New York City’s Mercury Lounge, this artist confirmed even his most popular protest songs he considers “protection” songs.

Nick Mulvey’s tour stopped at the Mercury Lounge in New York City

Nick Mulvey performs on the Main Stage at Kendal Calling Festival
Nick Mulvey performs on the Main Stage at Kendal Calling Festival | Andrew Benge/Redferns via Getty Images

A United Kingdom native, Mulvey is the artist behind “Fever to the Form,” celebrating his 2022 release, New Mythology, with a live performance at New York City’s Mercury Lounge. 

This songwriter paused between songs to chat with the audience. Still, Mulvey explained that he didn’t want to elaborate on each track’s meaning. The singer quoted Paul Simon, saying that he can’t have the epiphany for fans — part of the magic is letting listeners unfold the meaning for themselves. 

Nick Mulvey found an ‘inspiring and important shift’ between protesting and protecting 

Epiphany-less crowd or not, Mulvey mentioned the significance behind his connection to indigenous communities. The artist said that in Europe, people don’t ‘appreciate’ that on the frontlines of struggles is often an indigenous presence. 

“It occurred to me that we don’t often know that,” Mulvey said. “And the significance of that and how learning about sacred activism, and bringing in that depth of knowledge, depth of love, depth of wisdom to the frontlines in an engaged way — there’s lots that I thought about that.”

“One of the things I took away from it was the nuance that was articulated between protesting and protecting,” he continued. “And they were very clear that they were not protesting — they were not partaking in the continuation of that energy… I found that such an inspiring and important shift.”

“Humbly, I call these protection songs,” Mulvey concluded. “[It’s not that] they’re not ‘protest songs.’ They are… We’re still f****** up in arms. We’re still aggressed. But there is no ‘us’ and ‘them.’ That’s where we have to act from.”

Mulvey asked Laraaji, who was also on stage, if he had anything to add. The musician replied, “this is right.” 

Nick Mulvey wrote ‘protection songs’ ‘We Are Never Apart’ and ‘Myela’

While “Myela” directly references the refugee crisis, “We Are Never Apart,” in particular, notes the stress on indigenous peoples regarding the environment. On the 2017 release, Mulvey sings, “Our daybreak storm, and our indigenous heart / Even though Lancashire said no / Quadrilla say they fracking anyway.” 

Aside from creating fan-favorite “protection songs,” Mulvey participated in several climate change and environmentalism-driven events. The nonprofit organization Choose Love mentioned Mulvey’s attendance at Adrielle Priscila’s Spoken Word Earth Day event. 

According to Earth Percent, funds raised on Mulvey’s Bandcamp went toward “helping climate organizations solve the urgent crisis we face.” While in New York City, Mulvey mentioned attending a panel for scientists, journalists, and activists. 

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