The Middle Kids: Coming up From Down Under

There seems to be a recent wave of Australian musicians hitting the global stage or, at least, hitting my Spotify playlists. The Middle Kids are no exception and with their new EP, are demonstrating a sound that is anything but childish.


VIA DOMINORECORDCO
VIA DOMINORECORDCO

The Middle Kids in the music video for their hit single, Edge of Town.


The Middle Kids released their first collection on Feb. 17, the Middle Kids EP. The group –based in Sydney– consists of soloists Hannah Joy and Tim Fitz, along with their friend Harry Day, released two singles off the EP last year, “Edge of Town” and “Your Love”. And even though the group had never played a live show together when their first single, “Edge of Town”, was released, the song quickly gained them attention in Australia and abroad.

In fact, Elton John put the song on his personal playlist, aired it on his Beats 1 radio show, and gave the band his approval. The Middle Kids appeared on Conan on Valentine’s Day, and just began a tour across the States with the Cold War Kids (which, of course, I learned about a week after it happened). Needless to say, the band is moving up—and fast.

Their EP, though only six songs, plays like a full album. While it initially sounds fairly similar to other indie rock bands, the skill of Joy, Fitz and Day shines through the details.

Day, trained at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, is sharp on the drums, and Joy’s vocals make me imagine KT Tunstall fronting her own indie rock band. The EP is filled with catchy hooks, rhythms and solos. But the largest strength of the band is in their songwriting. Joy’s lyrics swing from unbridled optimism to introspective melancholy and confusion (which, as a college student, is incredibly relatable).

“Edge of Town”, their most popular song by far, centers around pealing guitar as Joy sings about wrestling with a muddled sense of identity and the weight of self-doubt. The song rises and falls with Joy and her conflict, and the listener is carried through by steady guitar chords punctuated with riffs.

My other favorite song on the EP is “Fire in Your Eyes”. On this track, the Middle Kids show off their songwriting talent, with beat catches and shifts in tone keeping the listener on their toes. Meanwhile, fluctuating harmonies accompany Joy’s vocals as they jump between her solid, breathy melody and crooning falsettos. The sharpness and precision of Day’s drumming is incredible on this track as well.

Now, as addicted as I have become recently to the Middle Kids EP, it is only six songs. What excites me the most about the Middle Kids is the potential they demonstrate in this EP. I absolutely cannot wait to see what they do next, especially considering how recently the band started. While the trio has known one another for a few years, they only began working together last year, and so far have been about as indie as indie gets—most of this EP was recorded in their garage.

However, they’ve now been signed to Domino Records, and I expect their sound to flourish. If the powerful hooks, lovely vocals, and organic lyrics of the Middle Kids EP are any indication, we can expect impressive music to come as these Middle Kids grow up.

Sam may be reached at
sschultheis@su-spectator.com

Strategic Communications Major, Digital Media Coordinator for the Spectator.


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