Bringin’ it Backwards: Interview with Matt Vinson of CAAMP and The Wonderfool

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We had the pleasure of interviewing Matt Vinson of CAAMP and The Wonderfool over Zoom video! 

The Wonderfool—the recording project of singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Matt Vinson—has announced his fourth full-length studio album, Shiner, will be released Wednesday, August 11 via Gjenny Records.   

Notably one-third of the chart-topping folk group CAAMP, Vinson was stuck indoors by the pandemic after the band had to cancel their touring plans. Vinson found himself with ample time on his hands and turned that isolation into an opportunity to create something new: a combination of modern folk melodies, forward-thinking production, and lyrics about fighting off one’s inner demons.  

The nine-track Shiner is a soundtrack for early mornings and late nights mixing the organic with the synthesized, the intimate with the collaborative, and folky with the pop-inspired. 

“The album has a blend of happy, poppy songs that are filled with themes of personal betterment,” Vinson explains, “and moody songs with a sonic space that lets the emotion of the song ring true. It’s something you can listen to in the morning, before you go to bed, or while sitting in a hammock. It’s reflective music. With Shiner, I finally encapsulated that feeling.” 

A 1980s Omnichord adds vintage, sun-baked shimmer to “Cool Shade.” A MicroKORG arpeggiator weaves its way in and out of the album’s kickoff track, “Much Better.” Banjo, baritone guitar, saxophone, and keyboards fill the remaining tracks, lacing Vinson’s writing with a mix of atmosphere and ambiance. 

Vinson encapsulated The Wonderfool in 2015 while studying at Ohio University. From there he solely worked alone recording, producing, and writing. However, as Shiner took shape, the record proved to be something quite different, full of guest appearances from fellow road warriors (including CAAMP frontman Taylor Meier) and fueled by Vinson’s sharpest songwriting to date. 

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