After Middle Kids released their remarkably successful debut single, we had to find out more about this exhilaratingly fresh national ensemble.
Ever feel like you stumble through life going unnoticed? Or perhaps you’re more comfortable deterring from black and white outlooks? Are you a bit of a fence sitter? For all the middle kids out there, I salute you. For the ripe Australian indie pop outfit Middle Kids this isn’t so relevant, however their music certainly inspires the releasing of built-up angst with a profound sense of freedom.
The Sydney-based 3 piece comprises of Hannah Joy, Tim Fitz, and Harry Day. Joy shed some light on their musical beginnings: “We are all from Sydney and had played music round about town for a while. Tim and I collaborated in the past until we realised we were a musical “thing” and then Tim was friends with Harry so he reached into his rolodex and called him up to start Middle Kids (unnamed band at the time)”.
Middle Kids made a fruitful exclusive entrance onto the Australian music scene with their debut track ‘Edge Of Town’ making high rotation on Triple J, whilst greatly circulating our stereos in a blissful unveiling of what can only be described as pure talent. With a comforting familiar melody in a single steel guitar and the husky yet languid vocal styling’s of Hannah Joy, the song preaches much self-reflection and frustration with life’s personal gravities.
“Edge of Town is about that tension of where we want to be (and think we might be) in control of our lives but time and time again we realise we are not. So the song has got the angst of that but also has the freedom we can find when we are not afraid of letting go a bit.”
And whilst the song is executed in an elegantly intuitive style, the creative process behind the tune was fundamentally spontaneous. “I actually originally wrote this song as an electro pop song. One day when Tim and I were fleshing it out he just stops and hands me a guitar and is like, “You need to play this now”.
Naturally, I was curious as to what inspires those creative vibes in a group as philosophical and original as MK, only to bring my inner fan girl back down to the ground as I understood that these kids are fundamentally normal people who enjoy recreational cleaning.
“It’s hard to answer this without a nauseatingly long list of the greats and all the amazing music coming out right now. But we are listening to a lot of different stuff, old and new. There are also times when we are listening to nothing at all (“nothing at all, nothing at all” –Ned Flanders)… We find that engaging with our lives holistically really informs and inspires our music. People and community is a big facet of that, but so is adventuring, eating, walking, being still and cleaning the house.”
And as their title might suggest, the band name wasn’t generated by pent-up middle child syndrome. That would be far too obvious for these steady Aussies.
“We called ourselves Middle Kids because it was the band name on a long list of band names we created that we liked the most. Both Tim and I are middle kids, so yeah have probably got classic middle kid traits, but Harry is a youngest sibling so we dote on him.”
In the hypothetically fateful event that MK didn’t exist (touch wood) the three pioneers would be following very different paths. “Tim would be studying medicine (he has currently put his studies on hold and we are all holding our breath to see if he will in fact ever return). Harry mightn’t exist if he wasn’t pursuing music. If Harry makes music and no one is around to hear it, does he make a sound? That doesn’t really work. I would tend to the garden.” But who doesn’t love a green thumb?
On the backend of their tour with Julia Jacklin, you can expect to hear more from Middle Kids in the near future, with a second single coming out in August, followed by their debut EP. You can also catch them playing at Brisbane’s Bigsound festival in September as well as performing with Aussie act City Calm Down on their tour of the same month.
Aside from making intimate parallels to their personal fulfillments in cleaning, and discovering the trio have a borderline obsession with consuming chicken burgers, I came to the conclusion that Middle Kids are your archetypal grounded Aussie creatives. In saying that, one needn’t file their sound amidst the likes of others. In the wise words of Patrick Swayze “Nobody puts baby in the corner”, and this same manifesto should be applied to an MK record.