Middle Kids have done it. What exactly is ‘it’, you may ask? This is it. Their self-titled debut EP defies expectation with 6 tracks that range epic ballads to defiant anthems for the suburban teen, delivered with the urgency of a band on the brink of realising the point of life. This is essential listening for 2017.
Presumably formed out of a need to rock the world to its very core, Sydney-based band Middle Kids launched when frontwoman, then soloist Hannah Joy met and began to work with guitarist and producer Tim Fitz, who grew up in Papua New Guinea. Eventually, their songwriting became so collaborative and outright awesome, they decided to form a trio with drummer Harry Day. What's happened since then has been somewhat or a roller coaster ride, with Aussie radio station Triple J acting as a crucial catapult for their music. God bless Triple J.
All of this, yet Middle Kids have to date only streamed three songs: “Your Love”, “Edge of Town” and “Never Start” all feature on the EP, and complete a succinct package of what we’re going to call ‘Middle Kids’ kick ass sound’. The tracks are filled with angular yet melodic guitar, clattering drums and a killer vocal from Hannah, who can impressively deliver a wide vocal range while also gut-hollering like the best of them. These three songs were an obvious choice to introduce the band: they’re driven and electric even on record and have garnered Middle Kids the respect of Rolling Stone and Noisey, as well as the one and only Elton John, who's called himself a fan since Apple Music introduced him to "Edge of Town" upon its release in May 2016.
There’s a different side to Middle Kids, partly demonstrated on “Never Start” but fully realised through the EP’s remaining tracks: “Fire In Your Eyes”, “Old River” and lastly, “Doing It Right”. Echoing the vinyl template, this side of the record is subdued and melancholic compared to the fight of its predecessors, drawing to mind the delicate electronica of early Me and My Drummer. Middle Kids' ability to transform in such a way is exciting: they can just as easily break your heart in a fist fight as they can squeeze it out of your nose with a single whimper. Both scenes being gloriously messy..
This musical discovery comes in the wake of a long line of decent Australian bands, and we can only hope that Middle Kids are about to buck the trend by breaking the music industries away from their home. With this EP and an army of devoted critics and fans on their side, they certainly deserve to.
Release: 17th February 2017, Domino Recording Company