21-year-old London singer-songwriter Matt Maltese has announced the details of his debut album Bad Contestant, out on June 1 via Atlantic Records.
The album was produced by Alex Burey and Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado in Rado’s Los Angeles studio. Rado has quite a few impressive production credits under his belt, like forthcoming material from Father John Misty, and the debut albums from Whitney and The Lemon Twigs. Born to Canadian parents and hailing from London, Maltese has cultivated a reputation for his surreal pop lyricism, delivered with smooth, rich vocals amidst a backdrop of dramatic, playful brass and piano-filled instrumentation.
After previously releasing the album’s swanky, impactful lead single “Greatest Comedian,” Maltese has also shared a new track, “Like A Fish,” alongside his album’s announcement today. Behind the song’s frolicsome strings and the beat of a pleasant evening stroll are the musings of a jealous and hopeful romantic with a bit of dry British humor. Backed by jocular, spiraling strings, Maltese laments as he sings, “I dream about you four nights a week / Call me romantic / I wish that I could fill his shoes / But I’m only a seven.”
The 11-track album also features reworked versions of fan favorites and previous singles “Strange Time” and “As The World Caves In.” Per a press release, “Bad Contestant is a grand coming-of-age album packed with Matt’s typically complex, witty melancholy and uplifting melodies.” Explaining the backstory behind the record’s humorous album cover and its two additional, peculiar subjects, who also appear in his Wes Anderson-esque “Greatest Comedian” video, Maltese says:
A few months back, I met Elizabeth and Greg in a pub and, due to some uninspired stroke of inspiration I had, I asked them if they’d be in some photos for ‘Greatest Comedian’ and my album. They were strangers before the photos were taken, but then in the shots there was this touching, strange sense of familiarity coming through. They sat in these gaudy, dated rooms, and looked like everything at once – longing, loss, romance. One of my favourite photographers, Scarlett Carlos Clarke, took the photos and to her I’m very thankful.
Following several sold-out shows in London, Maltese will play his biggest headline show to date at London’s Scala on June 6. He will also tour throughout April supporting fellow up-and-coming British singer-songwriter Isaac Gracie, starting in Manchester on April 11 and concluding with a show at London’s Hackney Empire on April 26.
Listen to “Like a Fish” below and check out the album’s artwork and tracklist further down. You can preorder Bad Contestant here.
Bad Contestant Album Art:
Bad Contestant Tracklist:
01. Greatest Comedian
02. Bad Contestant
03. Sweet 16
04. Like A Fish
05. Nightclub Love
06. Less And Less
08. Strange Time
10. As The World Caves In