MATT MALTESE

BAD CON­TES­TANT AT­LANTIC, OUT 1 JUNE

Q (UK) - - Q Review New Albums - RACHEL AROESTI

De­but of­fer­ing from lugubri­ous Lon­doner.

On his first al­bum, 21- year-old Matt Maltese plays the loser lover, croon­ing his way through a set of grat­i­fy­ingly droll dis­patches from the front­line of hope­less ro­man­ti­cism. Drift­ing be­tween swelling cham­ber pop and coun­tri­fied bal­lads, Maltese’s arch con­fec­tions have an ob­vi­ous par­al­lel in the work of Fa­ther John Misty, but the waves of bathos also re­call Brit­pop racon­teurs Jarvis Cocker and Neil Han­non. On the fi­nal two tracks, Maltese turns his at­ten­tion to the apoc­a­lypse – although he’s care­ful not to let the sub­ject mat­ter ruf­fle his wryly dole­ful vo­cal. Bad Con­tes­tant may sound stu­diously re­strained, but Maltese never lets things stag­nate, buoy­ing the al­bum along with his amus­ing lyri­cism. Lis­ten To: Great­est Co­me­dian | Sweet 16 | Guilty

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