One of the great things about living in downtown Hamilton is that two-feet-and-a-heartbeat is a great way to get around. I’m not talking spandex unitard speedwalking (a la the dad from Malcom in the Middle). No, I’m talking a leisurely stroll, which also makes for a great opportunity to listen to some new albums without any distractions, while taking in all that Hamilton has to offer.

My walk to work is about 40 minutes, so this is prime listening time. If an album is about 10 tracks, I can usually get the whole thing in before I hit the front doors. This week, Matt & Kim’s new album was on my list of “must-listens”. I put it on my iPod ready to go, and as I searched for their newest release, there it was – Sidewalks – how fitting.

I had heard some buzz about Matt & Kim a while back, but I didn’t become a fan until I got my hands on their second release Grand last year. The songs were a little nonsensical, but so freakin’ catchy that I didn’t care. It wasn’t an album I listened to for the lyrics. Check out “Don’t Slow Down” from their sophomore release Grand below.

Matt & Kim – Don’t Slow Down
[audio:|titles=Matt & Kim – Don’t Slow Down]

They may have some simple lyrics, but Matt & Kim’s live show is far from simple, and I think this is a big factor in keeping fans coming back for more. With Kim Schifino on drums and Matt Johnson on keyboards and vocals, they party so hard on stage that even if it’s 2:00 pm you feel like its 2:00 am at your favourite bar. If you read my Lollapalooza posts a while back, you’ll know that they didn’t disappoint when we caught them at the festival either. They played a cover of You Say He’s Just A Friend that had the crowd singing in unison while Kim spurred everyone on with her booty shakes atop her drums. I’m not lying when I say that I seriously tried to find out where they might be partying after Lollapalooza. Check out the video below for a behind the scene look at Matt & Kim at this years Lollapalooza.

Since that performance I have been waiting for some new material from these two, and this week I got it. It has the same base of catchy beats and nonsense lyrics, but is much more polished than their previous sound, with more layers and instrumentation. I understand that bands need to evolve and change their sound, but with the somewhat bland releases of bands like Kings of Leon who had previously blown my music-loving eardrums, Matt & Kim’s evolution was a welcome surprise.

They’ve kept their raw, punk-based rhythms, while putting a pop spin on the whole recipe, but not so mainstream as to lose their intensity. This album has some ballad-type songs that I never thought I’d hear from them, but I like it. I’m not sure if they’re trying to break onto the charts more with this record, but I wouldn’t be surprised to hear some of their more danceable tracks – like the first single Cameras – on the radio waves.

Matt & Kim – Cameras
[audio:|titles=Matt & Kim – Cameras]

Matt & Kim – Block After Block
[audio:|titles=Matt & Kim – Block After Block]

If you haven’t heard Matt & Kim, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this album. If you were already a fan, get ready to shake it up good, as always. It might be a little toned down, but it’s in all the right spots.

Let me know what you think! Are you a bigger fan of old Matt & Kim or are you diggin’ their new stuff? If you’ve never heard them let me know what you think!


* If you are a member or manager of the above band and you would like your track removed, please contact us and we will swiftly oblige. Fans – new or old – please support these bands by using your coffee money to buy their records.