Home Read Albums Of The Week: Matt Mitchell & The Coldhearts | Mission

Albums Of The Week: Matt Mitchell & The Coldhearts | Mission

The U.K. singer-guitarist's sophomore full-length packs a solidly rocking punch.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “After the release of the debut Matt Mitchell & The Coldhearts album in 2019, it was clear that a sophomore album would at some point follow.

As the world went into lockdown, musicians took to playing shows online and embracing the new style of stage. Some took that time to reset whilst others wrote and recorded new material. That is exactly what Mitchell did. Demoing at his home in Sussex, England, with more time on his hands than he ever imagined, he carved out the songs for what would be the difficult second album titled Mission.

The album was inspired by these times — though the leading single and title track’s inspiration came from from the immense migration journey that Arctic terns embark on each year. A reflection of the momentous, massive journeys we sometimes face in our own lives, the story really influenced Mitchell’s work. The theme also runs through the fantastic album artwork designed by Tom Heron.

A few years prior to recording the album, Mitchell reconnected with an ex-bandmate from his younger years. Guitarist Mark Alberici (Arthur Brown, Tiffany) had asked Matt to join his band. Mitchell recalls an audition where he performed songs on his 12-string acoustic guitar — not realizing until some time later he was in the home studio of studio legend Alan Parsons! In any case, the reconnection sparked ideas of working together again somehow at some point — though Alberici was now living in Nashville and, while still very active as a guitarist and musician, now also doing much more producing.

At the time Mitchell had started demoing tracks for a new Coldhearts album, so he asked Alberici if he’d like to be involved in co-producing. His old friend was more than happy to oblige. The two easily clicked into a working partnership like they had once done before. Of course, money was tight and times hard — as for all working musicians in the middle of lockdown — so a plan for recording had to be as kind as possible on the pocket. This would mean having a team that was in it not only for the work but for the love too.

In came engineer wizard Adrian Hall (Tori Amos, Depeche Mode). More assistance came in the form of Little Angels / Colour Of Noise bandmate Bruce Dickinson, who shines with his signature guitar work on Razor Tongue. Also featuring on that song: L.A. keys player Jimmy Dickinson.”