Matt and Kim’s place in the music scene can best be described as those kids in high school that didn’t fit in with any cliques but were well liked by everybody and always had a good time. The keyboard-drum duo became indie darlings with its DIY style and dance melodies. The band became commercially viable when its infectious electronic pop found its way into commercials and TV shows such as “Community” and “Entourage.”
There is an instant catchiness to Matt and Kim’s music that appeals to the masses and to the blog community. The songs can be heard anywhere from a teenager’s iPod to a Sony Xperia Ion cellphone ad, to which current single “Let’s Go” is attached. Matt and Kim’s formula is working, but keyboardist Matt Johnson and drummer Kim Schifino are quick to dismiss the notion that they write songs knowing they will end up as hits.
“I don’t think that necessarily crosses our mind,” Johnson said. “We write music that is music we want to hear. ‘Let’s Go’, when that song was finished, we didn’t realize it would take off. I mean there was a hook quality that, if there is a commercial and the song is in there for 15 seconds, like the ‘whoo whoo’ part, that melody gets stuck in your head. I think we do work with things that we notice work in short situations.”
The band started in Brooklyn, N.Y., and is a product of the environment that can be heard on the duo’s early work all the way up to latest record “Lightning.” The bright lights of a big city mixed with the serene sounds of the streets all come to life on “Lightning.”
“I feel like our environment, when we were developing what we are doing as a band, it got all into us,” Johnson said. “I think it goes back to when we started out playing in weird loft parties, art spaces, warehouses and things like that turned into something people can have a good time with.”
There are songs on “Lightning” that sound like they could be on Broadway, while there are others that sound like they were born out a gritty rock club such as CBGB. On “Overexposed,” Matt and Kim sound almost like a punk rock band, minus the distortion, and with a heavy dose of synth. Johnson, who grew up going to punk and rock shows, admits that the guitar was a driving influence on many of the songs on “Lightning.” As a live act, Matt and Kim isn’t restricted as a two-instrument band. Johnson sees the keyboard as an instrument with endless possibilities.
“Even though when we are on stage, we are keyboard and drums, Matt and Kim is whatever the hell Matt and Kim want to play,” Johnson said. “On stage, I’m able to use the keyboard and put in samples in certain songs. I’ve always played in bands, prior to (Matt and Kim), with guitar and bass, (and) for me there are more restrictions in just guitar and bass. With the keyboard, you can put rock and symphony parts into the songs.”
The buzz surrounding Matt and Kim and its high-energy live show can be seen at 7 p.m. Friday at the House of Blues.
“It is interesting. We did a tour once called Bacardi Live tour with all DJs, and we can do a tour with rock bands like blink-182 and My Chemical Romance,” Johnson said. “Our energy, I feel, is a music that has this sort of upbeatness and aggression. If it is music people want to get wild to, it doesn’t matter if it is rock music or dance music.”
Matt and Kim
When: 7 p.m., Friday
Where: House of Blues, 1204 Caroline Street ;Tickets: $20