There is a distinct moment in every artist's career when they have to
shake off the pressure, shedding external expectation, and look inward.
No more second-guessing, no worrying about the judgment of others. After that moment: pure creation.
For nothing,nowhere., the musical endeavor of Vermont songwriter, singer and guitarist Joe Mulherin, that turning point came midway through recording 'Ruiner', his second album. The musician decamped to New York City, where he spent three months in early 2018 writing and recording the new songs with a vision of staying completely true to himself as an artist. During the process, as moody, shimmering number 'Rejecter' came into being, nothing,nowhere. decided he had to liberate himself from outside forces.
"I was very anxious and very overwhelmed and feeling the weight of expectation on me," he says. "But I think it lent well to the overall sound of the album. Those feelings became so heavy that I had to let them go. Me letting go and taking a deep breath allowed the album to emerge. It was born out of those feelings."
'Ruiner', which follows 2017's breakout album 'Reaper', wasn't planned out or filtered through a long series of revisions. The musician brought pieces of paper covered in broken sentences into the studio, each revealing a fragment of a feeling he'd experienced at some point in the past year. In the room, on the spot, these fragments grew into whole songs, built from an in-the-moment release of melody and lyrics. Several producers, including Jay Vee and Falls, helped nothing,nowhere. find the best way to sonically express each idea, which center on the idea of change. Many tracks took shape quickly, each in a single day.
"I wanted to get back to the basics and back to why I fell in love with music," the musician says. "It's a place where I can truly be myself. No preconceived thoughts. Go in there and treat it like a meditative, Zen experience. This album is like a diary of where I am in my life right now. I've worked my entire life to be here, but now that I'm here I don't really know what to do. The pressure is immense. Things are changing and I'm not used to change. 'Ruiner' is about coping with change and learning to move forward when your life isn't the same as it used to be."
From 'Hammer,' a pulsating number that embraces positivity in a way nothing,nowhere. hasn't in the past, to 'Waster,' which combines current influences like Frank Ocean and James Blake with the second wave emo the musician coveted growing up, the album reflects an artist who is at a crossroads. These songs step forward from 'Reaper', a release that established nothing,nowhere. as a musician inspired by a childhood spent in nature around Massachusetts and Vermont, and who grew up admiring bands like Dashboard Confessional and The Early November. 'Ruiner', which purposefully doesn't feature any guest appearances, pushes nothing,nowhere. to the next level, reminding listeners that it's possible to take on the many influences of your past and create something truly genreless.
For nothing,nowhere., music is about a connection. It's one he finds with fans around the world, who gather to see him play on tour and to listen to his songs online. It's that connection that urges the singer to ignore his fear of performing live and step onstage each night anyway. He works with the Trust for Public Land, a nonprofit that endeavors to conserve and protect public land, which is also about connection, both with nature and with human society. The reason nothing,nowhere. brings his songs out of the Vermont wildness and out of himself is because they have the potential to make a change, however small it may be.
"I just want to keep helping people with my music," he says. "I want to create substantive change through music. My lyrics have a lot of imagery dealing with anxiety and depression, and I've met a lot of people on tour who are struggling with that as well. I want people to know they're not alone. Music can help people feel less isolated. For me, it's amazing feeling to help someone and I hope that's what 'Ruiner' can do."
02 Jan, 2019
nothing,nowhere. is the subject of a major interview in Notion magazine.
31 Oct, 2018
nothing, nowhere. discusses his new project 'ruiner' in The Fader.
19 Oct, 2018
Nothing, Nowhere's UK & European tour, begins today in Dublin.
See artist page for full details.
18 Jul, 2018
nothing,nowhere.'s video for 'rejecter' from his album 'ruiner' - available now on Fueled By Ramen / DCD2.
Premiered on Pigeons & Planes.
10 Apr, 2018
Nothing, Nowhere will tour the UK & Europe during October & November 2018.
13 Mar, 2018
The SXSW music takes place around Austin, Texas from 12th-18th March and many Primary Talent International artists will be taking part. See the official SXSW website, for full scheduling details.
...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead
13 Feb, 2018
The Reading & Leeds festivals will take place over the bank-holiday weekend of 24th to 26th August in their respective cities. The first wave of artists performing has just been announced, and includes many from the Primary Talent roster:
Reading (Friday 24th) / Leeds (Saturday 25th)
Reading (Saturday 25th) / Leeds (Sunday 26th)
...The Magic Gang
Reading (Sunday 26th) / Leeds (Friday 24th)
29 Jan, 2018
Nothing, Nowhere is the cover star of the new issue of Rock Sound magazine.
23 Oct, 2017
Nothing, Nowhere.'s debut album 'Reaper' receives an excellent review in the New York Times.
Check it out on Spotify.
|23 Aug 19||Leeds Festival||Leeds|
|25 Aug 19||Reading Festival||Reading|