14 May 2017

Matt Maltese: For After You've Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love The Bomb

Most the music I cover on here personally often comes from the darkest realms of human consciousness. Be it foam-mouthed garage rock, droning clusterfucks of psychedelia, or nuevo-shamanic dirge-pop, music that shakes the Earth at its very core. In fact, the amount of times I've published the word 'apocalyptic' this year must have hit three figures.

But what happens next? What of that? You know the end scene in Dr Strangelove after the bomb drops? Eternal nothingness, and the fact that it'll always be a nuclear winter and never nuclear Christmas for the rest of human history, is ushered in by the soft gramophone crackle of Dame Vera Lynn's We'll Meet Again. There's been a lot of talk about how poignant that film is (and how it's obviously a top 3 Kubrick flick) in recent times, as the world seems to get closer and closer to the brink by the day, politicians seemingly draw more and more parallels with the characters in the 1964 black comedy.

So will a modern day Dr Strangelove occur? The cogs are turning, but there's a light at the end of the tunnel, although admittedly a very hypothetical light in a not so hypothetical tunnel. For if there were to be a modern recreation of said film, we have the perfect songwriter to go with the final scene.

Enter Matt Maltese, a 21 year old South London-based singer-songwriter whose music has an immensely profound feeling. Taking in the political climate and writing personal songs that take the shitstorm outside into account, Matt Maltese has made a name for himself as a songwriter with wisdom profoundly beyond his years.

This end of this week saw him unveil a new song, No One Won The War, which was recorded at the same time as As The World Caves In. Both of these are in my top 10 of the year. Whilst As The World Caves In operates on the hypothetical, a deeply stirring ballad that humanises the dictator on his last evening on Planet Earth post-nuclear fallout. It sees Maltese crooning like Morrissey, singing "you put your finest suit on, I paint my finger nails", in what is a ridiculously vivid screenshot of one moment in time.

No One Won the War is another beautiful song. It's another ballad, but this one legitimately has the word "FTSE" in the opening couplet. It paints a picture of utter distress, feeling more 'everyman' than As the World Caves In - potentially a prequel to the impending nuclear apocalypse. His voice sounds amazing still, and with every elastic croon of "no one won the war" the song's power to stir increases tenfold. "Money's his true mistress, and his wife is just a friend", he sings as his lyrics get bleaker and bleaker.

Matt's now off to burrow away, and record a proper real life album for release next year. If the bomb hasn't hit by then, surely we've got something very special to look forward to.

(Words: Cal Cashin)