The Undercover Dream Lovers may be an over-the-top name, but it’s unquestionably fitting for the extravagant, synth-heavy pop music Matt Koenig has been brewing. It’s hard to fathom how the Brooklyn-based artist and producer singlehandedly created—wrote, tracked, and mixed—all the instrumental and vocal parts for the project’s debut EP, While It’s In Style in his bedroom, given that the record sounds like it belongs purely in a dance hall.
An anthem about forgiveness, “When You Know It’s Alright” kicks off the five-song EP in ultra-funky fashion, quick to instill a sense of ease before the woozy synthetic lines of the dark, defensive “The Master” set in. Across all of the songs there are smooth guitar lines with plenty of bending, and Koenig boasts a huge range of vocal styles, from a sweet falsetto that recalls Tame Impala to a calmer, more conversational tone. The lyrics, meanwhile, are especially attentive to interpersonal struggles, with a theatrical desperation that nonetheless doesn’t undercut the constant self-assuredness in Koenig’s voice. One minute he’s repeating the desperate “It’s breaking my heart” over a heavy drumbeat and wobbling synth undertow, the next he’s waxing grandiose, “I want your luvlatude to change my attitude!” to close the record on a high note. Hardly a limited-time deal like the name would suggest, While It’s In Style is untethered to any one point of reference. It’s weird and woozy and full of turns that make it ageless, and all the more impressive for a first record.
The While It’s In Style EP will be released tomorrow, April 8, and you can catch the celebration / release show Friday night at Baby’s All Right.