Matt & Kim Say Stay in School

Tonight Brooklyn’s ebullient duo Matt & Kim will bring their infamous energy to House of Blues in promotion of their latest album, Sidewalks. “We wanted people to feel uplifted or happy while listening to Sidewalks,” explains Matt Johnson by phone. “It’s not a downer album. I think it’s something you have to listen to in motion, whether you’re driving with your windows down or dancing on your couch. It’s something not to be sat still and listened to.” Sidewalks is filled with peppy electropop songs that could coax a grin out of even the most peevish curmudgeon.

Sidewalks is as ecstatic as previous albums but was created with different inspiration. “I feel like Sidewalks was a lot about home and friends and things like that that we weren’t seeing very much,” he says. “We weren’t seeing our friends because we weren’t home very much. We were always on tour. Of course we love touring and shows, but I think we were thinking about those things and people we left behind and it was coming up more and more in the songs.”

Considering that when Matt & Kim formed neither of them knew how to play an instrument, the group has done remarkably well. Last month Matt & Kim took home the MTVu Woodie Award for Best Live Performance, beating out Girl Talk, the National, Mumford and Sons, and Robyn.

“Recently, we played at the MTV OMA Awards, which was in Las Vegas, and I remember the whole thing being very surreal,” Johnson says. “I was nervewracked going into it, and finally when we were done I reflected on what the hell were we doing. It was one of those moments I celebrated how hard we’ve worked.”

When asked what he’d like to say to fans, Johnson speaks about a surprising topic: college. “Just because you majored in something doesn’t mean it’s what you have to do,” he says. “No matter what you end up doing, the money you spent on school never goes to waste. I went to art and film school but now I’m doing music, and I will be happy to play music for the rest of my life. For some reason, I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately: college and art and the connections between them. For example, I did a lot of photography in college and the more I understood composition—like what made a photo a good photo—the better I understood composition in writing a full song. Learning what works and what doesn’t work can be applied to anything.”

Matt and Kim plus the Thermals and Autobot from Flosstradamus will perform tonight, June 8, at House of Blues. Tickets are $22; doors open at 7 p.m. and the show begins at 8.