Jack White, of another guy-girl duo we all love, sang in 2003, “Give me a sugar pill and watch me just rattle down the street.” This is how the third full-length effort by irrepressible Brooklyn duo Matt and Kim tends to feel throughout its frenetic bursts of delicious synth popcorn. More polished than its predecessor, 2009’s Grand, which featured the mtvU Woodie award-winning  “Lessons Learned,”  Sidewalks keeps on the sunny side of the street with boundless energy and a refreshingly earnest charm that is a perfect hot toddy for the upcoming winter season. A romantic couple for nearly 10 years, Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino are adorable without being overly precious, and that’s hard to do when armed with just a keyboard, drums, handclaps, a xylophone and smiles that can be seen from space. But the ardent DIY’ers Matt and Kim make it work, and as they go “Block After Block,” no doubt skipping as they hold hands, denouncing “Cameras” in favor of pure senses overload, or making like Muppets on “Good for Great,” admitting  (adorably) that “We sing along but the notes are wrong,” you can’t help but become wistful for simpler times that involve Sunday morning cartoons and Snoopy Sno-Cone machines. Deeper album cut “Northeast” is a contemplative sleigh bell-laden ballad that yearns for the “lovely grime” of New York in the late summertime that can “make your bones feel alive,” creating a lush, downbeat vibe the duo should explore on future releases. The sublimely kicky “Wires” follows, and finds Johnson requesting, “Reset your clocks and rewrite your thoughts,” making it difficult to begrudge the spirited twosome for just wanting to shine a light as they stroll on those messy sidewalks past the boarded-up storefronts and dog parks. I don’t know how they keep it up, but I really hope they do. (FADER Label) –Carrie Alison

  1. [...] road with the Thermals in May and June in support of their recently released third studio album, Sidewalks. Set to kick off on May 28th at the annual Sasquatch Music Festival, the trek will also have DJ [...]