Festival Republic StageSundayTBA
Everybody is searching for happiness – and although it might be impossible to find, Matt Maltese is getting closer. For his fourth album, in order to look forward the musician finally let himself look back to the past. Reflecting on a sense of place, the meaning of where you grew up and the secret to being able to just enjoy the moment, ‘Driving Just To Drive’ finds Maltese at his most free.
Album cycles have long defined his life – the 25-year-old’s growth can be mapped in tandem with his music, and it’s only with this record that the young man is finding peace between past and present, and slowly better becoming himself. “‘Bad Contestant’ was someone I wanted to keep up with rather than just me,” Maltese says of his 2018 debut, a record he holds close to his heart and wanted to channel with his most recent release. A rewilding, of sorts.
The record finds Maltese at his most open, and settled, embracing new sounds but returning to the most organic version of himself he knows. He’s always wanted to find a way to make people laugh, but finds ways here to charm while somewhat letting his guard down. The result is something bittersweet and deeply, authentically emotional. Since his second album, 2020’s ‘Krystal’, Maltese has “felt a pull of earnestness being like, ‘Come over here.’” What a pleasure that ‘Driving Just To Drive’ finds the artist fully surrendered, curled up and honest with that feeling at last.