#Review: Matt Maltese – Bad Contestant


   

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Muzik Speaks Loves Atlantic Records - SmallerMatt Maltese is a piano-led, 21-year-old, singer-songwriter, who pens songs that are both emotionally intelligent and satirical at the same time. Having recently toured with Isaac Gracie (review), he is now releasing his debut album, Bad Contestant, through Atlantic Records. Here are our thoughts…

Matt Maltese - Bad Contestant.jpg

Matt Maltese‘s debut, Bad Contestant, is jam packed full of wisdom beyond his years but served up with equal doses of cutting humour, hilarious irony and pure over-exaggeration. This is an artist who merges, at times, understated yet sultry melodies and retro sounds with stunning lyrical craftsmanship to create his own unique style.

Album-opener, ‘Greatest Comedian’, begins with an unassuming introduction before launching into a fantastic set of back-handed compliments topped off with some intriguing instrumentation and beautiful higher-pitched vocals in the chorus; very similar to something by label-mate, Will Joseph Cook.

Title-track, ‘Bad Contestant’, has some seriously funky synth sounds and sees Maltese take on the character of an overly honest and confessional yet fruitless game show contestant.

This is very much an album where jazz and a touch of britpop meet funky, organ-led soul.

Meanwhile, ‘Nightclub Love’ is deeply satirical look at how Maltese sees the realities of clubbing and finding love there, whilst ‘Less & Less’ is an extremely saddening break-up song that is both beautiful and also attempts to put a positive spin on the situation. Of course we can’t go without mentioning the wonderful track, ‘As The a World Caves In’; a hysterical tale of the unlikely hooking up of Donald Trump and Theresa May, watching the nuclear destruction of the world as they do it; genius!

Other key tracks worth taking note of, include; ‘Sweet Sixteen’, an organ-led track taking a twisted look at a modern relationship – the sound is very much somewhere between Kaiser Chiefs and Blur, ‘Like A Fish’ which sounds like the opening to an old, 80s, British TV show and ‘Misery’ which is a dark and intense track with some reverse-sounding vocals on the chorus. In fact, the latter half of the album appears to get darker as it goes on.

The album features production and collaboration by a combination of Jonathan Rado, Hugo White (Maccabees) Alex Burey.

This is very much an album where jazz and a touch of britpop meet funky, organ-led soul, all dressed up in a hipster outfit and sung with a deep, crisp and crooning vocal. Picture BlurPulp and Jamiroquai creating some sort of spliced-together lovechild that’s been brought into the modern, contemporary age and you get Matt Maltese‘s debut, Bad Contestant. A truly alluring debut that is sure to pave the way for an exciting career ahead.

Rating
4


‘Bad Contestant’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/bad-contestant/1365077870


Bad Contestant on Spotify

Greatest Comedian (Official Video)

As The World Caves In (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of this singer-songwriter’s uniquely captivating debut album? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment below or via our social media.


Enjoyed this? Check out some of our other reviews here:

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#MellowMonday: Mullally – ‘Sweet Coffee’ featuring Bassette


   

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21-year-old soul singer, Mullally, has just unleashed his new single ‘Sweet Coffee’ on the world, featuring London artist Bassette and damn it’s good!

The smooth, soulful vibes are the perfect way to wake up to a week ahead – it truly is like the audible interpretation of your first cup of coffee in the morning. Somehow the pair have created the perfect blend of contemporary R&B/Pop inspirations with the powerful vocals and soft melodies of old-school jazz and soul; it’s truly euphoric.

Having already supported the likes of Anne-Marie, Jess Glynne, RAYE and Clean Bandit, played festivals including Glastonbury, Lovebox and Reading/Leeds and winning Best Solo Male at the Unsigned Music Awards, there’s no doubt that this guy is going to become a big name over the coming months.

No music video has emerged online yet but as soon as one does, we will keep you posted.

What are your thoughts of this soulful singer and songwriter? Do you love this song as much as us? Have you got your own #MellowMonday track to share with us? Please leave your thoughts or own song suggestions in a comment or tell us about it via our social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Sweet Coffee’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/sweet-coffee-feat-bassette-single/1364508986


#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Bars & Melody


   

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With the recent release of their second album, Generation Z (check out our review), and currently touring around Europe, we were lucky enough to catch up with Bars & Melody about their recent release, how their writing process has developed, who they’d most like to collaborate with and what Charlie’s most disgusting habit is. It’s all here…


Hey guys, how’s it going?
Hey, we’re great!!!

So you released Generation Z in September and the reception seems to have been incredible, how exciting has that been for you?
Generation Z is an milestone in our career. It’s our second album, we’ve grown so much since our first album, and it’s amazing to see the reception, as it is so great.

Where did the idea for the album title come from and what’s the meaning behind it?
So we were out in Florida writing a song called ‘Scream’. The song was about all the problems of the world, and how unfair it was that our generation (Generation Z) have to live with all the mistakes that the people before us had made. One of the lines for that song is “Generation Z more like Generation Dead” and we found that lyric very powerful, so we decided to name the album Generation Z in honour of that.

What’s your usual process for writing/recording an album?
Our creative process when making an album usually consists of us playing around with a guitar, or listening into some ideas our producers have came up with. We take a lot of time writing lyrics and thinking of meanings for every song.

How did this compare to the experience of recording your debut album?
Generation Z‘s recording process was completely different to our debut album. During our debut album, we were very young and didn’t put as much thought into the writing as we did on Gen Z. Although we love our first album 143, Generation Z is our favourite.

Where do you take inspirations from when writing/recording your music?
When we write our music we take a lot of inspiration from the thought process of teenagers. All of the obstacles you encounter going through the teen phase. We also take inspiration from heartbreak, love and the beauty of the world.

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be and why?
I think if ‘Bars and Melody‘ were to collab with anyone, we would love it to be Justin Bieber, we love his music!

What music have you been listening to most recently?
We love to listen to all different types of music, from Pop to Rock, Rap, Electronic, LoFi and Jazz. We love Music!

If you had to cover a recent chart song (not on your ‘Covers’ album), which song would it be and why?
If we were to cover in the charts right now it would be ‘rockstar’ by Post Malone, We love that song.

You’re heading out on tour at the moment, where are some of your favourite cities/countries to perform at?
We love Asia! Japan is a personal favourite of ours. But we love performing everywhere!

You’ve done shows across the globe but what makes a show particularly amazing for you?
There was one show in Japan where we supported Big Bang, an amazing KPOP group. We performed to over 80,000 people.

Has anything really scary ever happened to you on tour? If so, what?
Nothing really scary has happened to us on tour, luckily.

What are some of the best things that have come out of BAM?
I would say the best thing to come out of BAM is our lifelong friendship. Even after BAM ends, we’ll always have each other.

Have either of you got any disgusting habits?
Leo: Charlie likes to burp a lot and then blow it in my face.

Do you have any other passions outside of music?
Leo: I love to play video games and skateboard!

What really grinds your gears?
I really hate mess!

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you, in life?
The most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me was when I did a school play when I was 5 years old…I wet myself on stage! Oops!

What’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
The best film I have seen lately is a movie called Nerve, I watched it with all my friends! It was amazing.

If, in say 20 years time, a film was made about your lives, who would you want to play each of you?
If a movie was made about us, I would like the cast from Stranger Things to play us.

If you were a chocolate bar, which one would you be and why?
Leo: If I was a chocolate bar, I would be a Lion bar because I’m an animal!

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Leo: The best advice I’ve ever been given is to always listen to your mum!

Thanks very much for taking the time to chat, good luck with the tour and next time you’re doing a show down near Brighton I’ll have to come and review it.
THANK YOU GUYS!


Bars & Melody‘s releases are all available:


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Muzik Speaks Interviews


#FeelGoodFriday: Kungs vs Cookin’ On 3 Burners – ‘This Girl’


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Kungs is a French DJ and Cookin’ On 3 Burners are an Australian 3-piece who merge funk, soul and jazz.

‘This Girl’ was originally a song recorded by Cookin’ On 3 Burners but since Kungs came along and put his spin on it, it’s become massive!

The song entered the UK charts at Number 5 but went on to knock Justin Timberlake‘s ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’ off the Number 1 spot, earning it a Number 1! It’s no wonder either, the song is so summery and funky – it’s just got this awesome vibe to it and the ultimate #FeelGoodFriday song!

What do you think of this jammy little number? Loving the vibes? Please share your #FeelGoodFriday song choice with us, in a comment below too; we love new music!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘This Girl’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/this-girl-kungs-vs.-cookin/id1083967920


#ThrowbackThursday: Christina Aguilera – ‘Ain’t No Other Man’


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I can’t believe this song is now 10 years old!

Back in 2006, Christina Aguilera released ‘Ain’t No Other Man’ as the lead single to her album Back To Basics.

This song was the start of a new era for Aguilera, as she took on a new sound, incorporating soul, blues, jazz and funk. The track also featured a couple of samples a brass sample from “Hippy Skippy Moon Strut” by Dave Cortez & The Moon People, and a vocal sample “The Cissy’s Thang” by The Soul Seven.

The track did really well, reaching Number 2 in the UK charts and the music video was predictably 1920s themed and perfect for the song.

Were you a fan of the song, back in the day? Are you still a fan of the song? Have you got any good memories of this song? Please share your #ThrowbackThursday songs with us too!

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Ain’t No Other Man’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/aint-no-other-man/id388150154?i=388150495


#Christmas #Two4Tunesday: Pentatonix – ‘Joy To The World’ & Jessie J – ‘Man With The Bag’


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It’s (nearly) Christmas!!!

…in 3 days!

This week, as it’s Christmas, I’m posting themed track (as normal) but I am also going to be adding to a special Christmas playlist, each day.

Every day this week, you can expect 5 new tracks to be added to the playlist (based on the theme that day), which means by Christmas Day, you should have a special 25-track Christmas playlist! Please either subscribe to the YouTube channel or follow the playlist on Spotify 🙂


Pentatonix – ‘Joy To The World’

Pentatonix are possibly one of the most successful a cappella groups to grace the cybersphere, rising to fame both on YouTube and as part of US television series, The Sing-Off!

They released their debut originals album earlier this year but they have also re-released their Christmas album, with new tracks, including this latest addition, ‘Joy To The World’.

It’s truly impressive what these guys can do with their vocals and as is tradition, this #Two4Tunesday is based on the current songs I’m loving – and this is definitely one of them!

Jessie J – ‘Man With The Bag’

Jessie J has also released a Christmas song this year, but I’m sure you haven’t missed it – it’s been featured in the Boots Christmas advert campaign.

It’s a cover of the 1950s song, ‘(Everybody’s Waitin’ for) The Man with the Bag’, originally by Kay Starr, but also featured in the US television show, Ally McBeal.

Jessie J‘s voice is insanely powerful, and it’s nice to hear her do something a bit different and jazz orientated.

Also added to the playlist today:

  • Kylie Minogue – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town featuring Frank Sinatra
  • Justin Bieber – Mistletoe
  • Tamar Braxton – Sleigh Ride

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#WildCardWednesday: Grace – ‘Dirty Harry’


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Grace is an Australian singer who has so far worked with the legendary Quincy Jones and released her first EP, ‘Memo’, from which ‘Dirty Harry’ is taken.

Her brother, Conrad Sewell, is best known for his work with Kygo and on his own solo work.

Grace takes inspiration from the likes of Smokey Robinson and Amy Winehouse and that’s easy to hear in this incredibly edgy, jazz-pop song! The video is the perfect accompaniment to this strangely captivating song.

What do you think of this #WildCardWednesday tune? Please leave your song for the day, in a comment below.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Dirty Harry’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/dirty-harry/id996676274?i=996676490