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FM 102/1 Artist In Residence: Matt & Kim



THIS WEEK: MATT AND KIM
 



  For many bands, making music is all about the routine of recording an annual album, or being able to tour in progressively bigger venues. Not Matt and Kim. "Our goal is to make music we want to hear," says Matt Johnson, who co-founded the band with Kim Schifino. "When it comes time to make a new album, I'm just so excited, since I know we have all these ideas and I just want to get them out there." As for the band's extra-emphatic live shows, he explains, "We've always just really enjoyed playing music, and things have kept growing."

Matt and Kim's enthusiasm comes across on the band's new album, Lightning, the strongest distillation yet of Matt and Kim’s unique sound: a spunky hybrid of songs, an emphatic beat and almost tangible energy, mixed with the duo's influence of listening nonstop to Top 40 Hip-Hop and pop-punk.

To make the album, Matt and Kim spent six months working in their home studio, producing the record themselves. Lightning is a touch more minimal than their earlier work – with layers taken away, instead of added, enabling its intense performances and memorable tunes to really come to the forefront. "What’s made the songs on this album really strong is we’ve been able to pull a lot off – to not have so much going on – and still have a strong song," Kim explains.


"It's easier to make a song with a lot going on," Matt adds. "It feels very safe. It's like putting on a lot of clothes: you feel all covered up so no one can judge just one aspect of it, but when you try to break it down to be as simple as can be, you’re really baring it all. When you can see clearly what’s going on, those are the times that the songs are easiest to connect to."

Connecting with their audience is certainly a key focus for Matt and Kim. The indie dance duo's live shows – which are legendary for constant, in-your-face exuberance – feel more like vibrant, sweaty loft parties than traditional concerts, for both audiences and the band. "I think we've managed to continue to make them feel intimate," says Matt. In the words of Rolling Stone: "Matt and Kim's reputation as a live act precedes them – and justifiably so. Simply put, they are a two-person dynamo, frantic, tightly wound, and full of good cheer. Their performances are as physical as they are musical... For sheer adrenaline-per-second, no other band comes close."

Get get a copy of Matt and Kim's new album, Lightning, on Amazon and iTunes.
To find out even more about Matt and Kim, visit mattandkimmusic.com.

 

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