Something about Matt Maltese’s voice just makes you absolutely weak at the knees, doesn’t it?
It’s the musical equivalent of When Harry Met Sally – so sweet it’ll give you toothache, but light-hearted enough to have you smiling at the sound. His latest, the madhouse EP, is no exception. If anything, it ups the romanticism a notch further.
With a gentle hush of percussion, the artist welcomes us in with the aptly named ‘hi’. Whimsical and soft, the track is a simple but dizzily optimistic ode to love – expressing a want to be “the French to your fries”, Maltese breathily laughs his way through. Starry-eyed (with twinkling pianos to match), ‘hi’ has the ability to give you butterflies in the same manner as that one person can.
His depictions of love are not always as relentlessly sunny as ‘hi’ might have you believe, however. ‘leather wearing AA’ expresses more angst at falling in love – especially when it’s with “this bad news girl”. Set to a much darker beat, it finds Maltese completely helpless. A more negative rendition, perhaps, but it feels necessary; nestled amongst such heartfelt ballads, it allows him to chronicle a more realistic experience of love.
Throughout, the EP spills over with achingly tender expressions of adoration. The second single released from the EP, ‘queen bee’ perhaps epitomises this best. Promising to “love you endlessly” and outwardly praying for true love. On surface level, it might seem to be one for the hopeless romantics, but its acknowledgement of the ups and downs of relationships and love opens it out to the cynics too. Maltese has undoubtedly mastered this – what initially seems almost sickly sweet, is actually authentic and incredibly resonant.
Its realism doesn’t detract from its hopefulness though – madhouse is upward-looking and reassuring. Completely entrancing, Matt Maltese has the capacities to make even the cold-hearted fall towards the woozy side. It’s innately head in the clouds, yet his feet remain firmly planted on earth and the combination of the two is enough to make you feel completely full up on love.
HaikuReview: Heartbreakingly cute. Be the French to my fries Matt. Madhouse, I’m in love.
Listen to Matt Maltese on Spotify. Check out our print magazine featuring, girl in red, Sorry, Dream Wife, Arlo Parks and more HERE