The Wandering Hearts – Self-Titled 2nd LP
Out of the UK, folk/Americana scene is the trio known as The Wandering Hearts (together since 2015) with a nice well-produced full sounding sophomore LP.
Unlike their American counterparts, the UK musicians usually embellish their music with solid arrangements, ensemble singing that has a unity that creates one voice out of many. The opening song “Over Your Body,” is dramatic, melodic & catchy. It’s nothing new, it’s been done before by bands like Stackridge, The Korgis (an offshoot of Stackridge that charted). But this is a refreshing approach with cohesive songs & singing that sparkles.
The band has a good, diversified signature male vocalist surrounded by the finesse of the female vocalists who are vivid & natural. “Gold,” has a consistent melodic stream. The contrast between the male lead vocalist & female backing vocalists is about as colorful as you can get with unified singing. It’s an attractive blend of vocals that’s to the ears what Italian pastries are to the taste buds.
The Wandering Hearts became the first British band to debut at Nashville’s iconic Ryman Auditorium & then play the Grand Ole Opry in the same week & then on to Graceland. That’s country music acceptance.
Their Self-Titled 2nd LP (Drops Aug. 6–Cooking Vinyl) features AJ Dean-Revington’s baritone with the luscious harmonies of Chess Whiffin & Tara Wilcox. Male & female vocals are equally utilized throughout the cuts.
On the beautifully rendered acoustic tune “Dolores” the Whiffin-Wilcox vocals take front & center poignantly. “Dreams,” features all vocalists on the infectious Marty Stuart-Connie Smith penned song with Marty ( a 5-time Grammy Award winner) playing guitar & mandolin. There is a resonance & influence in the vocals that skims the edges of Fleetwood Mac, with the vocal magic of The Mamas & the Papas.
However, by “On Our Way,” — that’s Abba on steroids. Absolutely wonderful.
This is a dynamic in music sharpened & polished to commercial potential without sounding sugary or poppy. It has muscle. Ingenious arrangement & showcase. Not your average country-lyric: “We’re on our way now, this broken moment is a fracture in time…”
I’m not a big fan of these types of songs in general, anymore but this presentation is so impeccable, & exuberant, it’s difficult not to get hooked by their irresistible melodies. Isn’t that what good music is all about?
This is a motherlode by a skillful trio.
Color image at a diner counter courtesy of their website. The 12-cut CD was produced by Simone Felice & David Baron & available @ Bandcamp + https://www.thewanderinghearts.com/