I have to alert you that if you are remotely self-serious about your music tastes, “Sidewalks,” the third release on Fader by Brooklyn synth-pop duo Matt & Kim will not be your favourite, unless you’re the type of person that finds some transcendent significance in simple synth tunes. This album is essentially 30 minutes straight of choruses and handclaps. That description may be a bit reductive, but it’s not meant to be taken negatively, unless you’re only really into Boris, in which case it’s best to just continue listening to those guys.
“Sidewalks” is an invigorating 30 minutes—there’s an earnestness and infectious energy in Matt & Kim’s songwriting that makes this album sound like it might be better appreciated surrounded by sweaty friends at the Biltmore than through a pair of $18 headphones. Regardless, Matt & Kim’s ability to write a catchy pop song is apparent, and even forays into balladry. “Where You’re Coming From” and “Silver Tiles” can’t help but transform into sing-alongs by the one-minute mark. “Sidewalks” is a consistently upbeat album more than suited for anyone partial to music that’s poppy, exuberant and frivolous, but you’ve been warned: it’s chipper.