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ALBUM / EP REVIEW
Matt Mitchell & The Coldhearts.
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Matt Mitchell & The Coldhearts album cover

Some readers may recognise Matt Mitchell from his time with AOR band Pride, or from the harder hitting contemporary rock of Furyon, and more recently the bluesier style of Colour of Noise. He has spent the last couple of years working on his solo project, recording the songs for this, his self titled album, at Rockfield Studios with guest players playing much of the instrumentation (collectively The Coldhearts), and Nick Brine engineering.

To be expected from the combination of Nick Brine and Rockfield the sound of the record is excellent akin to that of a major album release, with a great drum sound, cymbals that ring out, and full bodied guitars, keys and bass forming a solid platform for all the subtle overlays. Matt Mitchell's distinctive emotion fuelled vocal naturally takes centre stage, oozing soulful classic rock tones on demand. This studio continues to be the go-to place to record authentic retro music with a live in-the-room vibe.

Songwise, the writing feels like the sum of Matt Mitchell’s musical journey so far, a blending of styles from those bands he has fronted before. Consequently, where previous bands may have drawn a more focused vocal this solo album really shows the scale of technique Matt Mitchell has under his command. From the pomp and swagger of opening track Black Diamonds, and the touch of pure class that is Dare You to Watch, to the riffy uptempo cool of Wave Goodbye and tender grace of Keep Me Safe, there’s diversity throughout the whole album and charisma, character and sincerity in abundance.

There’s an occasional country music feel to some of the songs, creating a vibe reminiscent of Lost Highway era Bon Jovi. In fact Matt Mitchell’s voice can sound a little “Jovi-esque” in tone at times. It doesn’t detract from the main rock vibe though, but adds to the rootsy authenticity of the album as a whole. I hear a Tom Petty influence too in songs like the sublime Old Enough & Ugly Enough, one of my favourite tracks on the album.

Matt Mitchell & The Coldhearts have made an album of timelessly relatable songs, written the old fashioned way about people and life, sung masterfully with passion and played with artistry. It's meaningful music capable of sending a shiver down the spine one minute and an energetic stride to your step the next.

If this sounds like it might be your thing, then check out how to buy and/or hear the album via the Matt Mitchell website at www.mattmitchellmusic.com/the-album. The official release date is 19th April.

*edit 19/04/2019: The official release date is 31st May, but pre-orders are available now.

Here's the video for the first single, Black Diamonds...

(Published 18/04/2019)


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