Middle Kids

THE PRINCIPLE OF MOMENTS

In May of last year, a hitherto unknown trio called Middle Kids released a gem of a song called Edge Of Town. What happened next is the kind of stuff you only read about.

In May of last year, a hitherto unknown trio called Middle Kids released a gem of a song called Edge Of Town. What happened next is the kind of stuff you only read about.

In Australia, triple j added it to high-rotation. In the UK Sir Elton John added it to his Apple Music playlist then to his Beats 1 radio show. That led to US interest and the band are now signed to Domino Records.

“We all loved our song and we all thought it was a good song,” drummer, Harry Day, says, “but I don’t think we anticipated what would happen in the following couple of months.”

One of the things that has happened over the course of those months is that Edge Of Town would be streamed over three million times.  

“The reception that that song got from people everywhere - people here and some in America – building fans and having people hear it for the first time and liking it, and the conversations that started happening with record labels and things like that. None of us has been in a project that has been signed before, so none of us expected that happening just of the back of us recording a song together. So that was a surprise.”

Day, vocalist/guitarist Hannah Joy and multi-instrumentalist/producer Tim Fitz can describe their lives now as being pre-and-post May, 2016. It’s been a whirlwind since, but importantly it hasn’t gotten in the way of what they’re here to do.

“Initially the response to that song was almost a catalyst for us to dive into the project even more,” Day notes, “because suddenly we were getting all this interest and that was creating opportunities to release more music. I feel like we would’ve done it anyway but, if anything, it was very motivating.

“But it was a real turning point for us doing this project for it to be an actual possibility for the future. As far as creating a headspace to keep us working, I think that’s healthy. It still feels like early times for us. We’re very conscious of keeping our heads down and just doing the work and not getting carried away with a lot of that other stuff.”

When Harry met Hannah and Tim, the pair were already helping each other out on their respective musical endeavours. Day’s admiration for the abilities of his bandmates is clear and palpable.

“I’d played with Tim on and off for a few years and was playing I other projects and studying as well. Then they asked me to play on this project, initially as ‘Hannah Joy’, and it just felt really natural. I’ve loved Tim’s music and I’d play it forever. Tim is the only guy I ever wanted to be in a band with. It just felt super natural.

“The music was at a very early stage,” he continues. “Hannah had been writing a really diverse bunch of songs but there wasn’t a sound yet, which is something that we then all found together. So it was pretty organic. I admire Hannah and Tim and how they are such great songwriters. Tim’s got such a great ear for production, it’s been great working for them. And for it to gain so much momentum and to have such an exciting year lined up… I couldn’t really have expected all that when they asked me to come and play drums on some songs.”

The trio had never gigged before as Middle Kids until after the debut single was released. In terms of the live stage, they had to grow up in public both here and overseas.

“It did feel a bit backwards,” Day reflects, “compared to bands and artists I’d played with previously. But also, we’d done the slog in previous years; we’ve all played plenty of shows to half-empty rooms. It was actually a really refreshing change to create a live show with this anticipation, particularly in Australia, of people being there and people being excited.”

This has all led to Middle Kids’ self-titled debut EP released last month. The band are currently on tour in the US with plans for an album release later this year. In the meantime, Day is well pleased how this six-track EP showcases of the band and its potential.

“It definitely feels like a really important moment because with the first release you really try and define the sound,” he explains. “So we were very conscious of that and we went through a bunch of different songs and then when we arrived at the selection of six songs and were listening through them   and looking at the tracklist it just felt like, ‘this is really our sound’.

“I think there’s a sense of it really being at home as an alternative rock release and that’s definitely the core of the songs, but there’s also a real diversity and we’re all conscious of each song being its own thing and not just rely on having one or two really great songs and a bunch of fillers. We just wanted to put six tracks and have them all be great. I think each song has its own special place on that EP. There’s moments and  think it’s quite a dynamic record – there’s dense moments and really spacious moments. I’m so happy with it as the first taste of what’s to come from us for the next couple of records.”

The Middle Kids self-titled debut EP is out now through EMI Music Australia.