Matt Wheeler & Vintage Heart - Self-Titled Review

Matt Wheeler & Vintage Heart have been dubbed a “Lancaster treasure” by PennLive, and their new self-titled album release carries on the band’s tradition of bringing poetic lyrics and a unique orchestral folk sound to music.

Matt Wheeler & Vintage Heart is a group made up of front-man Matt Wheeler on guitar and vocals, Shawn Vago on percussion, Caleb Brown on violin and backing vocals, Andrew Berg on cello (if your band’s got a cellist, I’m instantly down to listen) and Ben Young on bass. Their new self-titled album was released on March 10th, 2017, and it’s a good one.

Check out the tracklist below!

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Matt Wheeler & Vintage Heart Tracklist:
1. Safer
2. Santiago
3. Cedars
4. Lexington
5. First Dance
6. The Weather
7. Swimming In the Sea
8. Paperthin
9. Hallelujah
10. Wings
11. Manhattan
12. Prayer of Saint Francis

The first track, “Safer,” got me into it right away. The combination guitar/cello melody that started it off was beautiful, and I focused more on the instrumentals than the vocals, but the lyrics brought the song together and really made it cohesive.  

The cello in this album was fantastic. Like I said, I love a band with a good cellist, and Andrew Berg has got some serious string skills. He adds a special something to all of the songs, but the one that really got me was the band’s cover of “Hallelujah,” the famous track originated by Leonard Cohen that has been covered countless times by countless artists since its first release in 1975. If you don’t know the song, you might’ve heard it before in the first Shrek movie. Yeah. That song. It’s an absolutely beautiful track, and one of my favorites. I’ve heard a bunch of different renditions of it, and Matt Wheeler & Vintage Heart’s version is one of the better ones. (Though Jeff Buckley’s cover will always have the top spot on my list. Sorry, Matt Wheeler. It’s nothing personal.)

Another of my favorite songs off this album was “Manhattan.” The guitar melody reminded me of one of my old-time favorites, “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None The Richer. Like “Kiss Me,” “Manhattan” is a romantic song good for slow-dancing and daydreaming. The whole album has kind of a romantic, dreamy vibe to it (probably because of the cello – I’m telling you guys, it’s one of the best instruments out there). 

Overall, this album is definitely worth a listen. Check out the track list below, and you can stream it on the band’s official website. You can also listen to some of Matt Wheeler & Vintage Heart’s earlier music, which I highly recommend you do if you’ve got a taste for more. Enjoy listening! 

Matt Wheeler & Vintage Heart: Website // Facebook // Soundcloud