Album review: Matt Mitchell and The Coldhearts

The upcoming self-titled debut album from Matt Mitchell & The Coldhearts will be available for pre-order from April 19th 2019. If you’re a rock fan, you’re going to want to have this album in your collection.

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The 12-track album brilliantly showcases Matt Mitchell’s vocal and songwriting talent. He has one of those instantly recognisable voices. Just listening to his voice, it’s clear he has what it takes to be up there with the greats, and he’s also a fantastic live entertainer. I was gutted when Colour of Noise broke up, so I was thrilled to find out that Matt had put together this solo album.

Matt Mitchell is an accomplished artist, having been the singer in a few bands over the past 20 years or so (Pride/Furyon/Colour of Noise); taking that into account, it’s no surprise that he’s produced such a quality collection of songs on this solo debut. The feeling I get from listening to the album is that artistic expression is at the core of the project, rather than a conscious effort to sound like anything. In terms of genre, it’s undoubtedly Rock and Roll, but varies in style.

You can tell this is an album from the heart, and that a lot of emotion has gone into the making of it. A couple of the songs almost brought me to tears; that’s always a good sign, when an artist can make the listener feel something.

Although a few of the songs—especially those towards the end of the album—lean towards the introspective and reflective, with deep lyrics, this is an album that mostly inspires hope and optimism, and contains a wisdom that comes with the journey through the ups and downs of life. It seems so effortless in the delivery, which is again testament to the quality of this singer’s vocal ability. There’s a sense of storytelling throughout; lyric-driven songs, written and performed with passion.

Some of the songs are obviously great from the first listen, like “Black Diamonds”, “Home”, and “Kings & Queens”; others are more subtle and grow on you, as their essence and deeper meaning reveals itself on each subsequent listen. I think all the songs are perfectly crafted, and reflect different aspects and dimensions of the artist’s skill. It’s a magical album.

We might only be in April, but this is one album that I’m sure will be in my Top 10 at the end of the year.

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1. “Black Diamonds”

“Black Diamonds” is a favourite of mine. It was the first single released from the upcoming album, and is an epic rock track, with an awesome intro. Matt says the song,

‘is about an inevitable ending. “Black Diamonds” itself is a metaphor for the loss of beauty/light/energy that occurs in the theoretical final stages of some stars’ life cycles (Black Dwarf).’

Despite the song being about an ending, it’s a great way to start an album 🙂 It’s a powerful, high-energy track.

2. “Home”

The second track on the album, was also the second single to be released, and like “Black Diamonds”, it’s been picked up by many radio stations, including Planet Rock and Guy B Rockshow on Meridian FM, and Ignite Rocks Show.

I read the lyrics to “Home” before I heard the song, and it almost had me in tears; they’re very poignant. The sound of this one is reminiscent of Bryan Adams, I think.

Matt says,

‘“Home” is a song about making it back. Taking the punches, and getting back onto your feet. Making it to the other side, and taking on the experience whether it be good/bad or ugly. Going the distance and then making it back home again.’

3. “On & On”

Of all the songs on the album, “On & On” reminds me the most of Colour of Noise, and I think could have fitted in well with that band’s songs. Matt says of the track:

‘The lyric focuses on how someone has unconditional love for you. And, how being able to love back can be a hard thing to do at times.’

4. “Dare You to Watch”

“Dare You to Watch” is quite a laid back track, and for some reason it evokes a feeling of summertime for me, although Matt says he wrote it one Christmas Eve on acoustic guitar 🙂 He says of the track:

‘It actually touches on mental health issues and in particular OCD. A story about someone feeling stuck and not being able to let go as their held back with their own fears.’

5. “Kings & Queens”

“Kings & Queens” is one of my favourite songs on the album. I liked it from the first listen. It has reflective lyrics and a melodic sound. It’s the other one on the album that nearly brought a tear to my eye.

6. “Unavailable”

This is another one that reminds me a bit of the Colour of Noise style in parts. A catchy chorus, and a bit dancey.

7. “Do You Wanna be my God”

A song that Matt has said was ‘inspired by the music business’ and all the highs and lows that musicians face. It’s a thought-provoking track, with a cool, repetitive sound.

8. “Old Enough & Ugly Enough”

This track is Tom Petty-esque, a laid back track with introspective lyrics. It tells the tale of the end of a relationship and all the reminiscence and emotion that it evokes.

9. “Wave Goodbye”

This one picks up the tempo after the previous slower track. It’s, Matt says, ‘a song about letting go of the negative’. The depth of the vocals and the retrospective lyrics give the sense of regret and nostalgia twinned with the acceptance of letting go. It has an addictive groove.

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10. “Everything to You”

“Everything to You” sounds very much like the story of someone escaping from something, and the upbeat music evokes optimism and hope and the start of a new era.

11. “Keep Me Safe”

“Keep Me Safe” is a melancholic track. Slow, acoustic in sound, with a lot of passion behind the vocals. Telling the story of someone who almost feels trapped, it seems, regret and loss. An extremely evocative track.

12. “Waiting For The Sun”

The last song on the album has a sense of optimism to it, and almost a “call to arms” sound. Matt says,

‘this song came from watching the news and feeling helpless. A girl tells a story of her loss, and prays for change in the World. The stories of the people / families caught up in the middle of the sadness that wars create. Just seeing things unfold before our eyes on the news we are given. It inspired me to write “Waiting for the sun”. A new day, a hope for change.’

Although the album is a solo project, Matt Mitchell was assisted by some very talented musicians to bring this album to life. Matt Mitchell & The Coldhearts are:

Vocals & Guitars – Matt Mitchell
Guitars – Mauro Laconi
Bass – Dom Ladd
Drums – Matt Cherry
Keys – Stevie Watts

Additional instruments:
Lidia Alonso – Cello
Rupert Cobb – Trumpet
Francois Deville – Lap steel

To sum up, I would say this is a captivating collection of songs. It’s the type of album that you can listen to again and again, and with each listen you will discover a greater depth.

Keep an eye on the official website for all the news about the album release and upcoming tour dates: http://mattmitchellmusic.com/

Follow Matt Mitchell & The Coldhearts:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mmitchellmusic/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mmitchellonline

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mmitchellmusic/

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