As the architect of indie pop outfit Paper Idol, Matan KG alternates between paying homage to the pop acts of the past and focusing on a more modern production that allows him to reshape those sounds into something unique and utterly disarming. A former Wesleyan University neuroscience student, he began his musical tenure in 2016 with a college dance-punk project that kept him up at night fending off noise complaints and cramming for classes during the day. His music became a way for him to shuffle and rearrange the influences which had been swirling around in his head, breaking everything down to its core components and subsequently mashing these individual pieces together to form a kaleidoscopic coherence.
Continuing to mine this blend of vivid aesthetics, he is set to release his debut EP Money for Flowers later this spring. Composed of pop-tinged indie rock and indie rock-influenced dance-pop, the 4-track release finds him confronting the consequences of affection, the constraints we often feel in those relationships, and how sometimes we just want to celebrate the uncomplicatedness of youth. Anchored by a gripping emotional center, the music explores both a heady wistfulness and a sense of rambunctious attachment to the trappings of romance and pure narrative storytelling.
Recently, he shared the title track from his upcoming EP, and it relates the details of a situation where he was too broke to even afford flowers as a thank you gift for his then-girlfriend’s parents – although he did later say that he did wind up buying the flowers after all. Blending warped pop movements and circling indie rock riffs, the track skews a bit more muscular in terms of its production, though there is still a sticky sweet heart that drives the music forward. That bassline even conjures memories of Pixies and early 80s post-punk tactility. The accompanying video, filmed and directed by Kevin Clark with substantial assistance from Ilse Van Rijssen, is a vibrant mash of colored filters, psychedelic effects, and Matan KG swimming around while trying to avoid hypothermia.
“All of the video was shot in a day. We went to Hermit Falls in the San Gabriel Mountains and he had me swim around in some absolutely frigid pool of natural water. All the visual effects were done with Kevin’s trippy iOS apps and this DIY effect box that converts sound in scanlines. The video was actually made by a fan from Holland named Ilse Van Rijssen, and was originally made for one of her class projects.”