Album Review: Sean Nolan and The Heartmakers – The Machineries of Joy (Self Released)

Sean Nolan and The Heartmakers consists of Sean Nolan (vocals, guitar), Chris Cross (vocals, lead guitar), Kyle Nolan (synthesizers, keyboards), Matt Bayer (bass) and Kenny Duclos (drums).

Heavily influenced by classic rock and roll and 90’s punk rock, the band strives for a dynamic, genre-bending sound (think Saves the Day meets The Who). After the release of two music videos for “Or, the Whale” and “Heartbeat”, the band is back with a new record, titled “The Machineries of Joy”.

Says Sean (Vocals/Guitars):

Nobody’s got this whole thing figured out. Some people may seem to know more than others but, ultimately, life’s a big journey, right? There are so many highs and lows, it’s not always easy moving forward. “The Machineries of Joy” is a collection of songs about pressing on, one step at a time, towards where we want to be. It’s a record about overcoming self-doubt, the search for a place to belong. Along the way, if we look for it, we may even find a little joy.

I defy anyone to not have a smile on their face at least once throughout this bouncy and eclectic rock effort. Sean Nolan and The Heartmakers putting a comforting and warm arm around the shoulders of listeners and whispering that ‘everything will alright’.

It’s hard not to believe them.

A short intro (Out in the Cold) dives into the uplifting Velveteen Sleeves where the pop-rock beat gets the foot tapping along. The effects, initially jarring, really fit as the track goes on to the point that you miss them when they’re not there.

Heartbeat punches high with its catchy chorus and burst of energy before I Wanna Go Home delivers a sweet mellow acoustic tune.

A short intermission (Out in the Cold, Part 2) then leads to the more desert rock style track, Endless Breath. It’s cool but the least exciting of the bunch and also where an issue is highlighted. That being how it comes across as a collection of singles rather than an album. While it’s varied, the shifts in style and tone is bit too jumbled.

Case in point is the ukulele that appears in the super sunny sounding Isabel Dubs, a genuinely lovely track but so odd!

It’s a minor complaint though as The Machineries of Joy is just really nice. A really enjoyable release that ends in hyperactive and upbeat style with the joyful Or, The Whale.

Sean Nolan and The Heartmakers – The Machineries of Joy Full Track Listing:

1. Out in the Cold
2. Velveteen Sleeves
3. Heartbeat
4. I Wanna Go Home
5. Out in the Cold, Pt 2
6. Endless Breath
7. Isabel Dubs
8. Or, The Whale




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Sean Nolan and The Heartmakers – The Machineries of Joy (Self Released)
  • The Final Score - 7/10
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