Matt & Kim Matt & Kim

Matt & Kim Matt & Kim
There’s only so much you can do with a drum kit and a cheap keyboard, let’s face it. However, with wide-eyed abandon come the Brooklyn duo known as Matt & Kim, and they have furthered the possibilities with their splendiferous self-titled debut album. The 11 songs are as minimal as one would imagine — there are no gimmicks or compensating effects, unless you consider unbridled enthusiasm a new studio tactic. What Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino rely on is spirit, which is lacking in so many recordings these days. Their fun-loving souls are spilled out all over their rowdy pop, driving the melodies home with sugar coated chants and amateurish, yet hook-filled, synth riffs — imagine Atom & His Package on Ritalin. Schifino’s time keeping isn’t exactly from the Buddy Rich school of drumming but her skill for creating a harmonious beat for Johnson’s vocals and keys creates an irrepressible urge to dance your ass off. As infectious as a SARS outbreak, this is an album that never loses its potency, cranking out hit after hit with lovable humility. If there were more bands like Matt & Kim, the world would be a much happier place.

(iheartcomix, www.iheartcomix.com)

The music sounds very spontaneous. Was it done on the fly?
Kim: We just wanted to do a pop punk album. We did go into the studio early in the planning of the songs, and also had a really short time in there. We had never recorded in a studio before so we kept asking people, "How long do we need in a studio?” And no one could give us an answer. We only had a week in there so everything was rushed.

Do you feel pigeonholed because you guys are involved romantically?
It kind of sucks being compared to other bands we don’t sound like just because it’s a guy/girl, boyfriend/girlfriend thing. That bums me out. Matt and I are also best friends and we hang out all the time, so being a couple isn’t the main focus when we look at it. I forget about it until we read stuff. And everyone says we’re so cute, and nobody wants to see a band because they’re cute! That would make me not want to see a band.

Is it easier because you’re a duo?
We just work really well together and have the same idea of music we want to play. With just the two of us, y’know, it’s pretty easy when you wake up in the morning, nudge the other person and say, "C’mon, we got to go practice.” (iheartcomix)