As ambitious and eclectic as his new album is, Matan KG—a.k.a. Paper Idol—manages to sum it up with one brief elevator pitch: “it’s Boyhood the album.” The electro-pop songwriter’s latest project, The Playground, is a synthesis of memories dredged up during quarantine and translated into a narrative that evolves alongside him as his earliest recollections of childhood slowly transition into experiences from his twenties, going so far as to record the LP in all three cities where he spent this vast amount of time—Los Angeles, Milwaukee, and Tel Aviv—and incorporating their distinct influences.
Before the album drops tomorrow, though, KG is sharing one last single in the form of the shimmering title track which lands early enough on the record that it places him in the lawless confines of the playground. “The song is about facing the throes of adulthood and longing for the purity of the playground,” he explains. “There was a time when concepts like ego, accolades, money, and capitalism meant absolutely nothing to us. And it’s no surprise we suffer as a result of learning them.”
Musically, the track harkens back to Justice’s unavoidable 2007 hit “D.A.N.C.E.” with a similar backing children’s choir adding to the track’s veracity. “My bandmate Adam and I tried, like, 15 different choruses: guitar solos, vocal chops, you name it,” he shares, explaining that the inclusion of the West Los Angeles Children’s Choir was the final piece of the record’s puzzle. “Since we were still in lockdown, we did rehearsals over Zoom, and each singer recorded their part at home. Then I took the recordings and worked them into the track, adding some fuzz and wobble to make it sound like a vintage choir. They totally nailed it!”
Listen to the results below.