It’s been almost a year since the Brexit vote and the hangover from that event is already having an impact on young musicians today. Step up Matt Maltese, the 20-year-old crooner whose breathtaking and sweeping indie ballads make nods to the current political landscape and might just become the soundtrack to the apocalypse – if he has it his way, that is…
So what’s your single ‘As The World Caves In’ all about then?
“It’s inspired by this idea of Donald Trump and Theresa May having a final night on Earth, clicking the red button and then enjoying ravenous lovemaking. In these times, I felt I could be as ridiculous about the situation as possible. But it’s sweet in some ways as well, so I’d like to think if the world ended that way a few lovers would be listening to this song as it all crumbles.”
Has the ominous turn our world has taken helped you find inspiration?
“I like to think I’ve always had good observations of the world, but in my writing I’ve found that I’ve developed a dark humour recently, which you need to have right now. If you’re a compassionate person you can’t help but want to talk about everything going on in the world in some way.”
What kind of influence has producer Hugo White [The Maccabees] had on your most recent material?
“The first song we did together was the single ‘Vacant In The 21st Century’ last year, and it felt like quite a nice departure from everything else I’d done. Getting the big rock treatment with drums and guitars was definitely alien to me at the time. Although if I’m not able to try out different extremes now, then when can I? In the past I’ve left most of my recordings pretty sparse, but I think it was more just laziness than anything else.”
‘Brexit pop’ appears in your Twitter bio – is that how you’d describe your music?
“Technically, everything we’re making is ‘Brexit pop’ now, right? It’s obviously a p**stake, but if I can own that genre I’d happily I’d write that on my tombstone.”
Buy: Single ‘As The World Caves In’ is out now
Live: O2 Institute, Birmingham (June 22), O2 Academy, Glasgow (June 23), O2 Academy, Newcastle (June 24), (all with The Maccabees)
For Fans Of: Father John Misty, Leonard Cohen
Strange But True: Maltese used to be a bit of a wheeler-dealer, buying and reselling wholesale record collections on Gumtree and discovering artists he hadn’t heard before, such as Pulp.
Best Track: Even If It’s A Lie // His first release, this hushed and intimate love song allows his stunning songwriting to come to the fore.