English singer-songwriter Matt Maltese has released his third album, Good Morning It’s Now Tomorrow.
The singer’s first record since his 2019 LP, Krystal, Maltese decided to ditch the more upbeat and explicit Britpop inspirations on Good Morning It’s Now Tomorrow. Instead, Maltese slows things down and heightens in on more languid emotion, likely inspired by the desire to create your own world outside of the dreary realities of the modern-day.
“A lot of this record is escapism,” Maltese shares. “I’ve had to find more meaning out of the small parts of life. I want this record to celebrate the theatre in all the small things. It’s so cheesy to say it, but I think life is best when you try to make the ordinary extraordinary.”
There’s a certain Beatlesesque feeling to a good number of the songs on Good Morning It’s Now Tomorrow, but not similar to anything that the Beatles actually did. Rather, it’s the sound of what legions of artists do when they’re attempting to replicate The Beatles: plonky piano, odd chord changes and a vaguely psychedelic atmosphere. Basically what Jeff Lynne did on ‘Free as a Bird’. I don’t know if Maltese was consciously going for that or if that’s just naturally his style, but I don’t mean to point it out to criticise him for it. In fact, I think it works really well.
This kind of feeling is most prominent in songs like ‘Everyone Adores You (At Least I Do)’ and ‘You Deserve An Oscar’. Elsewhere, like on the album’s opening tracks ‘Good Morning’ or the Bedouine duet ‘Oldest Trick In the Book’, Maltese seems to be choosing his keyboard effects from the classic soul library of electronic pianos while gently intoning melodies. Everything seems designed to float above the ether, from the slide guitar on ‘Outrun the Bear’ to the jazzy piano chords on closing track ‘Krakow’
The best part about Maltese is that he prioritises melody and feeling above all else. Sometimes that comes at the expense of coherent storytelling or establishing strong distinctions between songs, but usually, it means that casual listeners can let the songs wash over them while more attentive fans can pick apart the wonderfully idiosyncratic musical choices that populate each song’s arrangement. There are enough fascinating bits throughout Good Morning It’s Now Tomorrow to make it just as interesting the second or third time around.
As a record, his third LP is coherent, spacey, and ever so slightly more ambitious than his debut. Most artists would think “ambition” is synonymous with throwing as many different sounds into a record as possible, but Maltese seems to have the intelligence to know that it’s more important to focus on what you do well as an artist. Maltese found uniqueness in stripping away most of the bells and whistles that coloured his previous album, and the result is that he comes off more mature without sounding boring.
“In many ways, this album is me simply being in awe of everything and confused but at peace,” Maltese says when summing up the album. “I never want to sound hopeless or like I get it because I don’t. Life feels like a search but that’s the whole point.” Maltese is certainly still searching with Good Morning It’s Now Tomorrow, but at the very least he can rest easy knowing that he’s pointed in the right direction.