Matt Maltese has typically made the simplest musings on love and heartache appear profoundly theatrical. One thing of an outlier within the bustling South London scene he emerged from, the 23-year-old crooner has lined quite a lot of floor from behind his piano in the previous few years.
His bells-and-whistles 2018 debut ‘Unhealthy Contestant’ served up playful ’60s-indebted ballads with a darkish humorous edge, whereas 2019’s home-produced follow-up ‘Krystal’ noticed him take a extra earnest, home-produced strategy. If one factor’s been fixed, it’s a compelling knack for placing his coronary heart on the road whereas poking enjoyable at life by way of lavish ballads.
Regardless of being persistently unwavering along with his output, it’s been one thing of a bizarre journey for the British artist, who has now left his main label cope with Atlantic and extra lately went viral on TikTok with three-year-old single ‘As The World Caves In’. But along with his previous few releases, it appears like Maltese is extra comfy in his pores and skin than ever earlier than.
The most recent EP ‘madhouse’ affirms this sentiment, coming as one other home-assembled effort, following on from his spontaneous lockdown monitor ‘Ballad Of A Pandemic’. “Can’t you inform me why I’m empty / welcome to the madhouse child,” sings Maltese on the chipper title monitor which explores emotional connections to things and locations.
Opener ‘little particular person’ units a light-weight jaunty groove musically however there’s a daydream high quality as he maps out plans with a future associate, “We’ll take a highway journey / approach out west / you’re the one / I like finest.” The woozy and unhurried musicianship echoes the hopeful but melancholic lyricism. Elsewhere ‘hello’ carries a equally reflective magnificence, softened with twee strains like, “I wanna be the French to your fries”.
Defining second ‘Queen Bee’ ups the urgency with a vibrant layered composition. Maltese’s honey-sweet vocal may simply be James Mercer on one among The Shins’ finer songs, whereas the monitor is obtainable additional zest with the assistance of Sorry’s Asha Lorenz who offers some backing vocals and a fuzzed-out guitar half from The Lemon Twigs’ Brian D’addario.
‘Unhappy Dream’ is a forlorn and impacting nearer that sums up all the pieces this artist is all about – beguiling throwback melodies with a twist of at the moment by way of sharp lyricism. There’s a robust trace of Belle & Sebastian right here as he sweetly sings, “I’m grateful you paid electrical energy / nevertheless it appears a small value now that you simply’ve destroyed me.”
As soon as once more carrying the power to make you cry and chortle in a single fell swoop, this EP carries a transparent sense of path within the ever-hopeful quest for which means and love. Whereas a few of Maltese’s extra grand concepts of manufacturing have frayed since his debut album, being on a DIY path is clearly taking part in to his strengths because the songwriting right here comes as a few of his most assured work but.
- Launch date: August 7
- Document label: Tonight Matthew/Nettwerk