Thursday, 29 October 2020

ELLIOT JAMES MULHERN — HOW'S IT GONNA STOP?


Beginning with an acoustic version of itself, musicmaker Elliot James Mulhern's new track 'How's It Gonna Stop?' asks a simple, very timely question. It's the titular refrain, layered and bouncing in the crunch of its decayed disco drums.

"Looking back on it now I suppose I was actually wondering ‘how *is* it gonna stop?’" Mulhern tells yes/no via email. "This song was a constant dream; I remember during lockdown waking up with it in my head persistently."

Eventually, that persistent creation became a one-take voice memo: "The more I played, the song took on a life of its own, like a chiseled granite statue," he recalls. It was already there: an atmosphere waiting to be captured.

There's a soft nocturnal sound to 'How's It Gonna Stop?' — a sense of fatigue in the low glimmer of the chords, of street-lit tension in the high siphoning strings, of thudding feet on dark tarmac in its clipped bass groove. Mulhern's voice itself flutters among it all; downcast but bright, slow and measured, before skipping up the scale.

The song summons a day lived, a dream dreamt. Or the tired glow you feel walking home from work: happy, but too exhausted to celebrate. Sort of how we'll feel when 2020 is finally over.

"It’s certain none of us knew how bizarre and challenging this year would become," says Mulhern. But he notes a silver lining in the hefty clouds of this annus horribilis, citing how artists are (to some degree) conditioned to work in isolation.

"This was the most extreme version of that," he continues. "And if I’m truly honest, the intense amount of emotional weight on us all drove me to write from an entirely new, rawer vulnerable place."

The video for 'How's It Gonna Stop?' takes Mulhern from the reality of a London phonebox and its surrounding grit, soundtracked by the organic skitter of acoustic guitar, and flings him into a visually disorienting world of rapid cuts and offset angles. Watch it below.


  • 🔔 'How's It Gonna Stop?' is taken from Elliot James Mulhern's upcoming album Tiny Correspondence, Dangerous Ideas and Sensitive Affairs. It's due out 20th November on Mulhern's own Blossöm Records. You can pre-order it on Bandcamp.
  • 🔔 The track was mastered by Frank Arkwright (Coldplay, Elton John, Oasis) at Abbey Road Studios, London. "[I'm] eternally grateful to have ['How's It Gonna Stop?] completed at Abbey Road, minutes from where I was born and raised, whose records had immeasurable impact on my life," Mulhern tells us.

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Elliot James Mulhern Internet Presence ☟
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