WHEN I woke up on Monday morning, I won’t lie I did not feel well at all.

For context, I have a number of medical conditions, one of which is fibromyalgia and without wishing to go too far into my medical history, as that’s not the subject of this column, I was in dire need of something musically as I tried to ease my way into the day.

It had to be easy to listen to - for an awakening which involved a horrible headache, pain all over my body and generally feeling like the living equivalent of a state of rigor mortis, it had to be enjoyable but most of all, it had to be something that didn’t want me to throw my Amazon Echo at the nearest wall.

I settled for an album that I’ve not listened to for a while, and, unless you’re like me, a massive Manic Street Preachers fan, the chances are you have not either. The album in question is the second solo album by the bassist of the aforementioned Manic Street Preachers, Nicky Wire, titled Intimism. I originally bought it on Bandcamp, but you can find it on streaming services.

For someone with the international success and presumably not insignificant bank balance of Nicky Wire, this is an album that has nothing of the pretension or commercial subtleties you might expect. It could easily sit alongside the other works of the up-and-coming artist of tomorrow, waiting for its first play on local radio (or what’s left of it).

Given it’s low-key release, perhaps that was the intention. Intimism by Nicky Wire sees him experiment with the sounds and themes that might not fit into a Manic Street Preachers album, for at its heart is the simplicity and intimate thoughts of a man who at the time of recording had not long lost both of his parents. That doesn’t, however, mean it is depressing. Far from it. It’s melodic.

It was described by Wire as an album where ‘jazz meets C83’, and given this is a man who once declared that the Manics would sell 14 million records on their debut album then split up, it perhaps is pertinent to take such declaration with a pinch of salt. However, that’s exactly what it achieves in its main part.

Wire does not have the vocal prowess of his band-mate James Dean Bradfield, and I think that’s something he acknowledges. What his vocals, much improved from his first vocal appearance on the chaotic carnage of 2001’s ‘Wattsville Blues’ is a Lou Reed-esque quality. This isn’t the type of vocal where you need the perfect note, but the earthiness, the tenderness of Wire’s vocal suits it just fine for this album is inspired by his life, and a story told by him.

Among the mostly-excellent listenable tracks, including the terrific ‘A Perfect Place to Grow’, is album opener ‘Contact Sheets’, ‘White Musk’ (the favourite perfume of his late mother) and ‘Keeper of the Flame’ is two artistic renditions of a migraine. Yes, really.