Matt and Kims: Sidewalks (Fader) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Matt and Kim



Nov 22, 2010 Matt and Kim Bookmark and Share

The energy that Matt & Kim draw forth in their music is equivalent to an army of 10-year-olds riding on pogo sticks with a sugar high. Like their raucous live shows, the Brooklyn-based duo’s third album continues their music tenure with the kind of sprightly joy that could make even the most jaded cynic crack a smile. Sidewalk’s beats bounce side to side with a structured rhythmic power that never feels too anxious. The secret lies in pure simplicity; you can hear every single layer of each song. While the recipe seems simple—squiggly synths and catchy keyboard earworms mixed with an all-over-the-place beat—Matt & Kim throw magic dust into their drinking water.

Nerdy electronics zip through “Red Paint” like bolts of lightning, heightening the song to exhilarating levels of adrenaline. Matt Johnson’s vocals are easy to sing along with, especially in the hooky first single, “Cameras,” where he and Kim Schifino declare to the Facebook generation, “No time for cameras/we’ll use our eyes instead.” It might be the most genuine anthem the duo has ever written. After all, Matt & Kim’s lyrics are often a collection of specific observations of everyday life around them, such as “sleeping on the ground/grass is much greener from down here” in “Ice Melts” and “notebooks filled with lines/and the clocks filled with good times” in “Where You’re Coming From.” Who better to explore the delight of capturing life through memories instead of digital images? “Silver Tiles” builds up slowly, opening up to the ultimate party jam, with talks of hopes and friends amidst spazzy synth-buzzing and warm melodies.

While many of us gave up childhood bliss long ago, selling our pogo sticks and switching our candy addictions to coffee, Matt & Kim are still around to bring the fun back into life. (

Author rating: 7/10

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