22 year-old South London artist Matt Maltese today released Bad Contestant, his long awaited debut record via Atlantic Records. The record, a culmination of 12 days spent in Foxygen instigator Jonathan Rado’s Los Angeles studio and many hours of sessions with Londoner Alex Burey, displays a no-less-than stunning leap forward in songwriting confidence from the already critically acclaimed young musician.
Credited with steering the lush sounding debut albums from Whitney, Weyes Blood and the Lemon Twigs, as well as Father John Misty’s critically acclaimed new album God’s Favourite Customer, Jonathan Rado has helped drench the record with Californian atmospherics, drawing out Matt’s sweetly drifting vocals over a swell of jubilant guitars, brass and drums. Featuring reworked versions of fan favourites and previous singles ‘Strange Time’ and ‘As The World Caves In’ amongst nine beautiful new tracks, Bad Contestant is a grand coming-of-age album packed with Matt’s typically complex, witty melancholy and uplifting melodies.
British but born to Canadian parents, and a focal point of the vibrant South London scene which includes Shame, HMLTD and Goat Girl to name but a few, Matt Maltese’s acerbic, witty songwriting has won admiring glances on both sides of the Atlantic around the release of Bad Contestant. The record has received rave reviews with four stars coming from CLASH, Dork, The Line Of Best Fit, NME, and Q, and five from DIY. NPR crowned Bad Contestant “love songs for the end of the world”, and Noisey labelled Matt a teenage Jarvis Cocker, “if he’d spent more time at The Windmill pub in Brixton and was in a better mood.” While Wonderland said “the songs twinkle with sincerity and hopefulness” just as Another Man lauded the record’s “to-the-bone depictions of young life.”
Fresh from his biggest headline show to date at London’s Scala, which saw Matt’s band fleshed out to six members including two backing vocalists, and a gloriously debonair ‘70s lounge stage set - he further highlighted the joyful and knowing pathos that skewers the entire record to a packed-out room.