The Ballet

The Ballet - Matchy Matchy [12"]

Artist: The Ballet
Title: Matchy Matchy
Format: 12” LP on black vinyl
Cat#: Fika072LP
Release date: 17th May 2019
Bandcamp | Spotify

Queer New York duo the Ballet marry the DIY ethos of the Hidden Cameras with the wry poeticism of the Magnetic Fields and the romantic pop of Jens Lekman, to create literate, infectious pop gems.

Formed in 2005 by Greg Goldberg and Craig Willse, the Ballet self-released two previous albums: Mattachine! (2006) and Bear Life (2009). These caught the attention of Fortuna Pop!, which released their third album, I Blame Society, in 2013. The Ballet has been joined by a few other musicians along the way including Ginger Brooks Takahashi and Michael O'Neill, who left in 2007 to join JD Sampson in MEN, as well as guest appearances on previous albums from Linton from The Aislers Set, Ramesh from Voxtrot, Scott Matthew, and Kaki King.

In addition to citing Stephin Merritt as an influence, Goldberg, who writes and home records all of the band’s songs, draws from an array of pop artists and periods, from 60’s bubblegum to 80’s synthpop and 90’s indiepop, fusing these in sophisticated and novel ways that reward repeat listening.

The Ballet’s new album, Matchy Matchy, is a return to the upbeat tenor of the band’s first two albums. While inspired by Goldberg’s experience navigating an open relationship with his boyfriend of 14 years, Matchy Matchy is not straightforwardly autobiographical; Goldberg writes from his experience, while also fantasizing about the perspective of his objects of desire, leaving ambiguous which is which. He is generally less melancholic than on I Blame Society, and fans will notice a return to earlier themes (“Looking” tackles Grindr, as “Personal” did Gaydar in 2006). Goldberg is not shy to write songs with explicitly queer subjects (“But I’m a Top,” “Messing Around,” “First Time in a Gay Bar”), while also taking on more universal longings, pleasures, and frustrations (“Jersey,” “Love Letter,” “Cry Baby”).

As the album’s title suggests, Matchy Matchy is also a meditation on sameness, both in its musical material (think limited chords in major keys, repeated phrases and constructions, and citations of Goldberg’s influences) and in its lyrical exploration of queer relationships and encounters. The album reclaims the insult of “matchy matchy,” finding value in repetition and doubling, both within the album and across the Ballet’s discography.

For press enquiries, please contact Jamie Otsa at Wall of Sound PR.

“This amiable embrace of ambivalence distinguishes Greg Goldberg and Craig Willse’s output as the Ballet from the work of their funny musical uncles, like the Magnetic Fields’ implacably ironic Stephin Merritt, the Hidden Cameras’ riot auteur Joel Gibb, even fairy godfathers Pet Shop Boys.
The music is so lovely, all dewy guitars and dripping synth bells, that it makes you understand the appeal of intertwining with someone who doesn’t necessarily respect you.” Pitchfork [7.6/10]

“The new single can only be described as a A-ha’s ‘Take on Me’ with the monochrome tones of The Smiths and it’s unbelievably catchy.” Attitude Magazine [premiere]

“‘Matchy Matchy’ is a beguiling album, one that plays with conceptions of not only sexuality but society as a whole. It’s an album for 2019.” Norman Records [9/10]

“The hooks are still in there, starring these light little keyboard notes maneuvering in and out behind that dancing guitar line. Sure Greg Goldberg has stylistic similarities to Stephin Merritt, but there’s this softness to his voice, a fragility that makes him feel just a touch more open and approachable.” Austin Town Hall

“the album is full of little pop anthems, in which the clean guitars are fused with the drum machines and some xylophone that another. This is the case of ' Looking ' or ' First in a Gay Bar ', which are brilliant. But the best of its more electronic side, appears in ' 20', a whole pop gem, for which many consolidated groups of the genre, would kill.” Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow

“The fact is that it is a beautiful, and irresistible, cut of synth-pop, for which many would kill. Among them his beloved Magnetic Fields .” Indienauta [Spanish]

“a sweet album, with a high playful tenderness” Written In Music [Dutch]

“The Ballet have succeeded in producing a record whose catchy sound never outshines the charm and depth of the lyrics” Lie in the Sound [German]

“The Ballet have become the sort of reliable, approachable yet pertinent little indie-pop act that it’s always good to have around.” The Soundboard

“this duo all the way from New York have fashioned an interesting way of marrying expressive DIY Indie music with some very pleasant and soothing instrumentation” The Independent Voice

“vocals akin with The Neighbourhood, but musically they have instrumentation and dance beats similar to that of Blaqk Audio or Scissor Sisters” Alt Corner

The Ballet - Love Letter [Digital]

Artist: The Ballet
Title: Love Letter
Format: Digital Single
Cat#: Fika072SG1
Release date: 12th April 2019
Bandcamp | Spotify

Following an appearance at Madrid Pop Fest 2019 in Spain last month, queer New York indie-pop duo The Ballet have released their new single ‘Love Letter’, which is out now on all good digital service providers.

‘Love Letter’ is the latest track to be taken from their fourth studio album,Matchy Matchy, which will be released by Fika Recordings on 17th May 2019.

Commenting on the new track, front man Greg Goldberg said: "I'm interested in the lengths we go through to keep our objects of desire around: trying to be on our best behavior, to be the person we think they want us to be, even at the expense of our integrity. It's a lot of work. I find poignant declarations of affection at the moment this all starts to unravel, maybe because these declarations seem particularly futile."

Previous single ‘But I’m A Top’ was added to Spotify’s Fresh Finds: Index playlist, with the track premiered with the UK’s best-selling gay magazine, Attitude.

Formed in 2005 by Greg Goldberg and Craig Willse, The Ballet marry the DIY ethos of the Hidden Cameras with the wry poeticism of the Magnetic Fields, and the romantic pop of Jens Lekman, to create literate, infectious pop gems.

Matchy Matchy is released 17th May 2019 via Fika Recordings

For press enquiries, please contact Jamie Otsa at Wall of Sound PR.

The Ballet join Fika Recordings

The Ballet have joined Fika Recordings! They’ll be releasing their new album Matchy Matchy in May.

Attitude Magazine unveiled the first track from the record earlier today - where you can listen to But I’m a Top.

The new single can only be described as a A-ha’s ‘Take on Me’ with the monochrome tones of The Smiths and it’s unbelievably catchy.

When talking about the single, Goldberg said: “’But I’m a Top’ is a playful response to the ways that gay culture can be attached to norms of masculinity and femininity.

“The narrator is frustrated with these norms and expresses a desire for others to see him/her as he sees himself/herself – a fantasy as compelling as it is impossible.”"

Matchy Matchy can be pre-ordered from us now on 12” vinyl and download.

The Smittens - Infinity Pools [Digital]

Artist: The Smittens
Title: Infinity Pools
Format: Digital
Cat#: Fika067SG4
Release date: 2nd November 2018
Bandcamp | Spotify

Ahead of 3 shows this weekend with The Ballet, The Smittens release their latest single Infinity Pools, taken from this summer’s LP City Rock Dove.

Infinity Pools is a homage to Spanish tontipop, and also inspired by Max’s longstanding love of tropicália. It’s a heady mix of pretentious experimentation and the most basic, simple, silly, absurdly infectious pop. 

The digital single comes with a brand new remix of Cats for Cats, superbly re-crafted by The Ballet, and a version of Sapphire from Nixon.

Catch The Smittens and The Ballet this weekend here:

Nov 2nd: The Radio Bean, Burlington VT
Nov 3rd: C’Mon Everybody, Brooklyn NY [3pm early free show]
Nov 4th: The Fire, Philadelphia PA

The Smittens - Infinity Pools