Dance duo to warm up Burlington


A popular indie pop power duo are kicking off their tour with a two-night event at Arts Riot on March 12 and 13.

Matt Johnson and Kim Schifino, better known as Matt and Kim, met while studying film and illustration respectively, at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.

“We were dating for a couple years before we started playing music together,” said Johnson, one of the two lead singers of the group.

This compatibility translated into the musical partnership that unintentionally formed between them.

Neither had any formal prior training in the instruments they play in Matt and Kim.

“Kim had just seen a band and thought, ‘hey I just want to learn how to play drums,’ that was it. She’s such a committed person that she ended up getting a couple pieces of a drum set from a friend and just sat in her bedroom and learned,” Johnson said.

As for Johnson, his keyboard abilities were also self-taught.

“We just completely, accidentally started playing music together,” he said.

The group has been gaining popularity since their formation in 2004, and UVM is no exception to their growing fanbase.

Junior Sydney Ward said she saw Matt and Kim at Firefly, a four day music festival.

“My friend is a big fan and she’s getting me into them more,” Ward said.

Despite the common notion that professional life is not to be mixed with the personal, Johnson and Schifino have managed to maintain both their professional partnership and romantic relationship.

“With most couples, I don’t know if it would work because it’s literally every waking second that we are together, but for us it works really well. With any of our success, we get to share it together, and any of our failures, we get to wallow in it together,” Johnson said.

This tour promotes their upcoming album, “New Glow,” which splits off from the norm of Matt and Kim LPs.

The two have already released a single from the album, “Get It,” which Rolling Stone magazine described as “an indie-pop soundtrack for almost any kind of debauchery.”

“Our live shows have always been an important part of what we’ve done,” he said.

“Anyone who has seen our shows knows how many different genres we push into, from dance to hip-hop to even stuff with a bit of a punk vibe. I feel like this is the first time we were able to get that diversity of what we do during our live shows on a recording.”

This experimental mindset led to the duo’s choice of Pine Street’s arts center as a venue.

Junior August Amirault recalls seeing Matt and Kim when they opened for Passion Pit at Madison Square Garden in 2012.

“They were crazy and handled the huge crowd really well,” Amirault said. “I’m excited to see what they’ll be like in this smaller setting.”

“We wanted to try out some new stuff, stuff that we probably won’t even do on the rest of the tour. There’s an energy that’s created in a spot like this that makes it very free to do any sort of weird shit you want,” Johnson said.

The concert will be held at Artsriot 8:30 p.m. March 12 and March 13.