New research out of UC Berkeley reveals some interesting tidbits about how the human…
- Posted on Nov 11th 2010 4:00PM by Kenneth Partridge
The perpetually cheery pair recorded their just-released third album, 'Sidewalks,' with Ben Allen -- a producer known for his work with such artists as Deerhunter, Animal Collective and Gnarls Barkley -- and have begun delegating day-to-day duties to its record label and marketing firm.
While singer and keyboardist Matt Johnson says he and girlfriend/drummer Kim Schifino still see the band as their baby, he admits it's "weird" to relinquish complete control.
"Kim and I, we did really everything ourselves for so long in the early days, even booking our own tours to doing all our album artwork and silk-screening our own T-shirts and everything," Johnson tells Spinner. "We still do our own album art, and I still stay involved in the videos, but we do have to give a lot more away."
Johnson and Schifino met as art students at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute, where they studied film and illustration, respectively. They formed Matt and Kim in 2004 and made their name in New York City's warehouse-party scene, inventing a sound that combined the propulsion of post-punk, heaviness of hip-hop and giddiness of Broadway. They dropped their self-titled debut in 2006 and followed it up three years later with 'Grand,' which featured the gold-selling single 'Daylight.'
'Sidewalks' may be glossier than the group's first two albums, both of which were self-produced, but it shares the same unique spirit. Ditto for the group itself, which hasn't let outsider input change its dynamic.
"We found a team we like and trust, and a lot of it just feels the same," Johnson says. "Things are growing, but we're still traveling and playing shows. That's what we've been doing the past five years or so."
If 'Sidewalks' succeeds in becoming the album that catapults Matt and Kim into the mainstream, Johnson says it will be more a pleasant surprise than the fulfillment of some grand plan.
"We definitely don't think of anything in those terms," he says. "Kim and I, the goal is always to make music we like to hear, and we didn't go in with the intention, 'We have grown our audience. We need to make something that's broader.' That's not our objective. Our objective is just to make music we would want to listen to."