Matt Maltese removes self-imposed necessity

London artist Matt Maltese has today announced his fourth album Driving Just To Drive for release on 28th April via Nettwerk / V2 Records. Matt has also shared its title track ‘Driving Just To Drive’ today. Driving Just To Drive is the first major body of work from Matt Maltese since his acclaimed third album Good Morning It’s Now Tomorrow arrived in 2021.

Matt has now racked up half a billion streams across all platforms with over 5.3 million monthly listeners; viral single ‘As The World Caves In’ accounts for over 270 million of them. Matt's audience also continues to grow on social media with 500,000 followers now on TikTok where global superstars like Doja Cat and BTS’ Kim Taehyung have become firm fans - the former even hosted an Instagram Live singalong of ‘Curl Up And Die’. Frank Ocean has also featured Matt's single ‘Rom-Com Gone Wrong’ on his Blonded Radio. Matt is credited as a songwriter on Jamie T’s 2022 #1 record All In Good Time, with Jamie naming him one of the UK’s best young songwriters in multiple press interviews around the album’s release. Matt has also recently co-written music with Joy Crookes and Celeste for their new records.

Listen to ‘Driving Just To Drive’ HERE

Pre-order Driving Just To Drive HERE

Expanding on ‘Driving Just To Drive’, Matt says: “I think getting older and busier, you can sometimes create a rewards-system in your brain, where every action needs to have a reason for doing that action. But there’s also a whole new fresh load of doom out there that sometimes can put our obsession with personal ‘growth’ into perspective. I often live in a building-block mindset where I need to do this thing so I can do that thing and that means I’ll have a chance at that other thing. In the meantime, there are all these uncontrollable (and maybe even unchangeable) realities, like a wealth-bias financial system and an exponentially heating world, that could render all the productivity pointless.”

He continues: “I thought a lot back to being younger and how much more I used to do things just to do them. Playing on a playground as a kid or just going for a drive and listening to music in the car. I used to love stuff with no sense of an outcome, with no sense of self-imposed necessity. I think it’s important to have some of that in our lives.”

‘Mother’, a previous single which also features on Driving Just To Drive, was picked out last year as a track of the week at The Guardian Guide, The Times and The Independent, and received further praise from the likes of Notion, The Line Of Best Fit, Clash, DIY, Dork, Yuck, and more.

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. 

“When I was younger, I was über earnest – when I was 18 and got my heart broken I lost this ego thing in me, and it brought back earnestness in a way,” Maltese says of the governing emotions that guided him to a level of pure nostalgia and romanticism that elevates this album into a more powerful, sincere plane than ever. “I’d pushed that earnestness away as I felt self-conscious, but as time goes on, there's no time anymore for self-deprecation. I think the way I lived my life before 2021 was all thinking. I now try to think less, and be less precious with what I write. 

The album’s lush, almost cinematic sound in part comes from Maltese working with a producer for the first time in a while – a first-time producer at that, in Josh Scarbrow. It was only after thriving in a songwriting space, collaborating with Joy Crookes, Celeste, Etta Marcus and more, that Maltese better realised how he wanted to write for himself. “I’m bad at letting go to make someone else help me, but I’ve got better,” Maltese says. “Sharing those moments in real life with another person is just really nice. Josh hadn’t made an album before which I loved, and also working with someone my age ended up being really important.”

Driving Just To Drive 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. 

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