Matt and Kim

Grand (Fader Label)

Sung to the tune of "Jack and Diane": "A little ditty about Matt and Kim/Two American kids making music in Brooklyn/Matt plays keys, sings snotty and cute/Kim bashes out drumbeats and sings a bit, too/Oh yeah, life goes on/Long after the hype of their debut is gone/Oh, yeah, life goes on/Matt and Kim are here to save the pop song."

Okay, maybe they're a bit different from the kids John Cougar envisioned back in '82. But Matt and Kim's updated take on early-'90s twee is as American as the most colloquial heartland rock. Like an inverse version of Mates of State, Matt takes the reins with his brash but endearing vocals, while Kim's driving breakbeats provide the anchor. Their latest album comprises simple, irresistible nuggets of pop confection. Beginning with the honky-tonk piano of "Daylight," an insta-hit that also appears as a remix at the album's close, Grand is a testament to the power of uncomplicated hooks. Songs are frantic and short, and usually get to the point within 20 seconds. But this kind of music wouldn't work any other way. Matt and Kim's rapid rise to indie fame may be mystifying to some, but these kids are clearly doing something very right.

 
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