As you’re all likely well aware, here at TMB we go to quite a lot of shows that feature new artists. More often than not, we’ll attend one of these and highly enjoy it.
On a cold Sunday night, Matt Maltese was playing at the Fallow Cafe in Manchester. There were three reasons that I wanted to attend. The first, the venue requires very little travel for me to get to. Secondly, it was free! And thirdly, I very much like the music that this man puts out.
This wasn’t your standard enjoyable new artist show, however. Despite Matt playing his tracks with nothing more than a keyboard and his voice, I was blown away by him.
Anyway. a couple of weeks ago, Maltese put out a new track. ‘Vacant In The 21st Century’ is a soaring number that deserves your attention. More recently, he put out a video to accompany it. About it, director Kris Rimmer said, “Although you might think the video is focussed on the husband and wife, for me the protagonists here are the youths. We wanted to create a microcosm of society and they offer us a voice of reason; a voiceless generation who absorb the impact from the mistakes made by those before them.”
This guy is selling out shows in London and only having a handful of people turn up in Liverpool. Let’s sort that out, yeah?
At just 20 years old, Matt Maltese has fully immersed himself in London’s emerging music scene. Having hosted his own residency in Brixton earlier this year, he spent the summer broadening his horizons playing a range of new music nights including the Lock Tavern’s own festival in Camden and the Shacklewell Arms in East London. Playing these venues alongside post-punk acts such as HMLtd, Shark Dentist, and Sad Cabbage may go some way to explain the sense of social unrest that underpins the lyrics of ‘Vacant In The 21st Century’.
These artists add to the already eclectic collection of names that have in some way influenced Maltese – Leonard Cohen, Jarvis Cocker, and fellow Londoners King Krule and Loyle Carner. The evocative lyrics of his songs are full of rich imagery as he observes London life occurring around him and offer a glimpse into the maturity of his creativity, whilst his melodies maintain an undeniable and accessible appeal.
‘Vacant In The 21st Century’ follows the recent demo track ‘Strange Time’ which DIY referred to as “Richard Hawley with a Twin Peaks filter” as well as the earlier demo track ‘Even If It’s A Lie’, which climbed into the UK Viral Chart on Spotify and has now clocked up over 2 million streams on Spotify. Maltese also released a debut EP ‘In A New Bed’ to widespread acclaim earlier this year. The EP’s lead single ‘Studio 6’ received heavy rotation on Radio 1 from both Phil Taggart and Annie Mac.