Matt Maltese – Madhouse EP

Lonely hearts rejoice, this one’s for you.
Released: 7th August 2020
Rating: ★★★★

Seasons come and go but Matt Maltese yearns forever. At least, that’s if ‘Madhouse’ is anything to go by, a six track follow-up to last winter’s ‘Krystal’ LP which once again finds hopeless Matty seeking amoré in a glistening analogue soundscape.

In the Matt Maltese cinematic universe, details are everything. On ‘Hi’ it’s “the cat by your side”, “the torch that you shine”, “the straw in your Sprite” he longs to be, while on ‘Little Person’, in its lilting, melancholic glory, he manages to make suburban banality sound like heaven, should you have the right partner beside you.

His wry lyrics are romantic, sure, but he’d rather revel in the chase than celebrate the pay-off; ‘Queen Bee’ (which features Sorry’s Asha and The Lemon Twigs’ Brian on backing vocals/guitar, FYI) is chirpy and sweet, but it’s the “I would love you” that makes Matt’s songwriting what it is. He pokes fun at himself and the genre of love songs, never coming across as bitter or wanky so much as just a guy looking for a gal, but you know, cool if not, no worries.

Co-producer Jonathon Rado’s rose-tinted Californian touch melds like a dream with Matt’s gloomy metropolitan cynicism, bringing a kitschy pep that gives the whole EP a lush, summery lift, especially on the title track. Lonely hearts rejoice, this one’s for you.

Alex Cabré

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