Music was our first love. It did not always last nor was it always unconditional. This love, however, is something we can all agree on. As rare as this may be these days. Music was also Matijas first love. When Munich’s indie pop darlings appeared on the scene with their precious 2017 debut “Are We An Electric Generation Falling Apart?” for Clouds Hill, they were so young you could hardly believe they had been playing together for six years already. This windfall made the album become one of the most exciting indie debuts of the year. And Matija a straightaway phenomenon.
In no time, they garnered the much sought-after reputation of an excelling live band, delivering on stage as in their video clips or, of course, in their songs themselves. Their music is both nonchalant and brimful with emotions, sometimes bordering on the feverish, sometimes giving in to bittersweet melancholy only to become breathlessly ecstatic and weightless around the next bend, all borne by front dandy Matija’s soft, androgynous, sensual yet powerful voice. A voice ready to write music history. Their sublime brand of indie pop, however, is very rare in Germany and more at home in the fairways of Foals, Two Door Cinema Club or The Mars Volta. Their attitude, though, is universal: “We as a band strive to touch people with our music and bring them closer together,” guitar player Jan Salgovic summarises the rather humanitarian agenda of his band. It’s an act of love, a banner of empathy in times of fear – short: it’s more than just darn good music. “We want our music and gigs to be a haven, a place of reflection and a catalyst for a new togetherness.”
True, beautiful and important word like these also tell of a certain maturity. And indeed, a lot of things happened in these past three years, things that have not failed to leave their mark on these hopeful indie youngsters from Bavaria. “We’ve grown older, we’ve experienced our first small triumphs, had our share of insane highs and catastrophic lows. All that,” vocalist Matija says, “is mirrored in our new songs.” Songs that are getting their finishing touches as you are reading these lines, crafted with passion, focus and buckets of zeal. Written in the years since their debut, pre-produced in their rehearsal space and in Italy, recorded with Willy Löster (Leslie Clio, Joris) in Munich: Enter a band more than ready for the next big step. Rapturously, bittersweet indie pop continues to be their innermost anchor. That said, though, it’s not unusual for their new songs to contain traces of classical music, hip-hop or french house, always with a keen open eye on the world while holding hands with their very own DNA. “Above all else, we became way more emotional,” Salgovic puts it simply. That much becomes apparent already in their first single “absolutelynothing (today)”, a light-as-a-feather, melancholic indie ballad with Beatles harmonies and some remarkable guitar work.
The Matija of 2020 are pure musical introspection, urging us listeners to do the same and think about, well, stuff. From a musical perspective, it may well be a bit more chilled than on their stormy, adolescent first record. But that’s alright. No, it’s more than that even: It’s necessary if you want to gain ground. As people and as artists. And this here and there is what Matija is all about. There may be bands that are only in for the partying and the glory of it all. Matija, on the other hand, make music to get a better understanding of themselves. And thus, to get a better understanding of this world. Along this way, the quartet became a trio – a concentration at first rather challenging regarding their increasing live endeavours. “Since then, though, we found our way as a three-piece and share the same vision,” states Matija. Everybody grew into their roles, everybody became more aware of their strengths. And the music is still created together, of course.
What set out as a young band eager to find itself became a homogenous unit. “We have gained trust in us and our abilities,” is what percussionist Sami Salman calls it. Consequently, a certain sense of poise is indeed becoming more and more apparent. But don’t you mistake it for aloofness! It’s only three skilled and passionate musicians who have been working very diligently for each and every little step they took so far, letting them become free of any competitive thinking in the process. “With our music, we want to give people the exact same thing we got from other artists,” the singer states. As a band, Matija are evading being stuck in their own bubble at all costs. They want to be open to everyone and everything, a musical equivalent to a land of the free. Without fences, without borders. Later that year, their new record will set a huge exclamation mark behind this statement. Until then, there will be numerous possibilities to catch that trio extraordinaire live on stage. And get reminded of why music was our first love indeed.