Review: Hearts and Horizons - Malcolm MacWatt

Raining Down in Nashville

The Lead track on Hearts and Horizons starts off very mellow, a consistent slow drum beat sets the pace and feeling for this EP. Depicting the feelings of trying to move on from a relationship or the death of a close friend or a close relative, this song is very emotional. In particular the build into the chorus and as the chorus hits. The feeling of pain in his vocals are very prominent accompanied with some slow banjo picking and a variety of guitars such as his Dobro really enhance the feeling of a breaking heart.

The images that flow straight away as I personally listen to this song, is myself sitting in a dimly lit café staring through the window into a dark, rainy soaked city with people busying themselves not noticing the pain shown in my face as tears drip into a cold coffee that’s been sitting there. – Deep I know but the way Raining Down in Nashville unfolds, it paints such a vivid picture of despair and loneliness which I love and can relate to.

Lie for Your Love

Starting with a smooth lick on his guitar and hitting you straight away with ‘Turn Your eyes away from me baby’ shows the continuation of true emotions from his first track into the second. With some lovely female harmonisations, the track feels very much like a man and a woman pleading the same argument to each other. The sense of desperation and love in this is equally as strong and gives the idea that there is self doubt in whether the partner should be with him.

As I listen to ‘Lie For Your Love’, I picture somebody staring at an old picture of a partner or watching somebody driving away and stood there, in the middle of the street watching the car fade into the distance, trying their hardest not to set off running after the car.

That’s How we Roll

Another great start to the track with the variety of banjos picking and guitar/dobro licks. The banjo picking carries on throughout this track which, like a drum beat, keeps you ‘rolling’ on with the song till the end.

The descriptive lyrics bring a sense of nostalgia and the images I get from this ‘That’s How We Roll’ is sitting in the middle of a field on a sunny day, with a stream trickling in the distance, thinking back on life, through the good and the bad, the relationships that worked, the ones that didn’t, looking to the future and just taking in the moment.

Living alone

Another catchy riff using his trusty dobro starts the ball rolling with Living Alone. Throughout the song, a simple steady bass guitar carries you through the song with his dobro, guitar solos and the use of a lap steel positioned throughout the song gives the song so much layered depth that keeps you bopping your head to beat and although the lyrics are emotional in the sense of being used to living alone, it still gives you the sense of happiness as he describes that sense of finally knowing exactly what he wants but sadness of wanting somebody to share it with. A complete mix bag of emotions that guides you from the start to the end of the song!


This EP is one of those that makes you sit back, look at the life around you and take heed of everything. The multitude of emotions is displayed through wonderful lyricism and wizardry in the use of his banjo, dobro and the perfect blend of the piano, truly makes this a wonderful EP. A true Country and Americana artist with a small dusting of Bluegrass that I adore! If you haven't already, buy this EP, you'll be glad you did!

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