Matt Maltese - 'Bad Contestant'

8/10

Since emerging back in 2016 with his 'In A New Bed' EP, frontman Matt Maltese has always shown a very flamboyant attitude when it comes to the music he makes. Taking inspiration from the classic crooners of the 1970s yet maintaining a modern perspective, the frontman now embarks on the first major milestone of his career with the release of his debut album 'Bad Contestant', a record that truly displays the diverse intentions he has as a songwriter.

Opening up with his lead single 'Greatest Comedian', it is clear that this new release aims to highlight the snapshots of modern life in a quirky and sometimes satirical way. At moments he seems like a cross between Divine Comedy singer Neil Hannon and Father John Misty, delivering witty and thought-provoking remarks, all sheltered within this very warm and inviting sound. While it may not feature the same levels of political commentary as those mentioned, it seems to trigger familiar imagery that turns the most humdrum experiences into something with depth and emotion.

'Bad Contestant' may only be his first album, but it plays with the confidence of a man who has been working on his direction for years. Keeping itself very succinct and cohesive throughout, he has managed to share a collection that not only gels wonderfully together, but feels like a journey has been played out through his work and keeps itself engaging from start to finish.

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