Brittany Ineson (writer),
Frey + Martin (photographer)
If you happened to be roaming the streets of Brooklyn late in the summer, you might have heard Matt & Kim cruising around blasting their new album, Sidewalks. “You can’t jam to your own music once it’s on the radio,” Matt Johnson says of the record, which drops November 2. “So we wanted to just drive around blasting the album before it was released.”
“We’re excited for it,” Kim Schifino continues with a grin as she unabashedly explains the goofiness of pumping one’s own music. “All we really do is embarrass ourselves.” The infectious vibe that they give off transfers to their impossibly catchy and upbeat songs. Take, for instance, the most popular tune off their last album; it was as cheery as Schifino’s glossy green eye shadow but titled “Good Ol’ Fashion Nightmare.”
Johnson and Schifino met in college at the Pratt Institute and have been making music together ever since. “My mom said she would pay for college or breast implants,” Schifino says. “I chose college, but she didn’t even have to pay for it because I got a track scholarship. I actually wanted my first tattoo to be the Road Runner because of track—boy, am I glad I didn’t follow through on that one.”
Instead of a cartoon bird, Schifino’s got a realistic feathered creature holding a banner with her brother David’s name. Her other arm reads “Dad,” a little skateboard girl sits on her hip, and hot rod flames adorn her lower stomach. “When I met Kim she had all these tattoos and she was hitting on me,” Johnson says. “It was kind of intimidating but kind of hot too.”
All of Schifino’s ink has been done by friends, many of whom are also supportive fans of her music career. “A tattoo artist friend of mine heard about our music and he said, ‘I’m really glad you got your life together,’” Schifino relays, laughing.
“Well, yeah,” Johnson chimes in, “after all the stories I heard about you peeing your pants on your way home from bars. …”