Middle Kids have had an amazing year, riding a wave of adoration all the way to the U.S. for an appearance on Conan, a huge American tour, and their current foray into massive industry conference SXSW.
Much of that acclaim was built by their promising early singles, and has only shot through the roof following the release of their anticipated self-titled debut EP last month. With the record currently ringing in the ears of the global music industry in Austin, Texas, we were keen to chat to the band about how it all came together, and what the band themselves are all about.
You’ll be able to catch Middle Kids back on home turf in April when they head out on their national tour (dates below), or even supporting Ryan Adams on his Aussie tour in May, but until then you can find the record here and delve into it more below.
Middle Kids talk us through their debut EP
The recording process
“Recording this EP took place over a range of times and places. Hannah’s songs were written on guitar and organ and piano, she would often start the recording session on the computer and build the structure of the song. Harry’s drums would be added later, bringing energy and pulse. Tim would take the song in a certain direction by recording various guitar parts, ‘shaping it’ production-wise.
“Much of the EP was done around the house with various microphones and amplifiers set up in ways that probably would make real engineers cringe. When we record at home cords go everywhere and there are guitars lying all over the floor, as we skip from one idea to the next, like the ideas will fly away if we don’t do them immediately. We like to work fast, and we often end up using first takes, even if they have some imperfection. Sometimes imperfections add personality to the song.
“Some parts and songs were recorded by our friend Phan Sjarif at Parliament Studios in Annandale. We showed up and had never met him, but he got down exactly what we wanted for ‘Edge of Town’ so quickly and easily and for that we are forever grateful. He also let Tim use his laptop when Tim was just finalising the mixes and the computer crashed. That was a stressful day.
“When we listen to the songs, we hear all of the memories of that particular day, we remember what the weather was like, we remember what we were feeling. It’s fun to hear it in this complete way. We had a lot of help from friends and we are proud of it.”
“We made this song in entirely in our house and it originated on an old dusty nylon string guitar. We wanted it to explore that type of love you have to work on, fight for, we wanted it to be hopeful.”
‘Edge of Town’
“Sometimes Hannah is on a walk and think things like, “Imagine if this road just cracked open and down I went”. That’s obviously the image this song was built on which endeavours to tap in to that sense that we are actually quite out of control and have little idea of what we are doing.”
“This was a fun song to make and is a fun song to play. It’s a cool mix of being a bit stubborn but then also has moments of softness. Something about the chorus makes us think of New York.”
‘Fire in Your Eyes’
“This is the oldest song on the EP. This was the first song that we recorded together, back when Hannah was doing her solo project. There is something warm about this song, something that makes us feel like it’s all going to be okay.”
“When this song started life it was a very tender guitar ballad. We gave it some distortion and some pedal steel, and now it is one of our favourite songs to play live. It is about the river that runs through our hearts, the one that we have to visit every now and then to remember what is important. We love Harry’s drums on this album.”
‘Doing it Right’
“This was the last song of a long session at Parliament Studios, Phan stayed late and set up a single microphone and captured this ballad that Hannah had been working on.”
An acoustic version of ‘Never Start’, filmed on their current U.S. tour
Middle Kids Australian Tour Dates
Fri April 14 | Melbourne – Northcote Social Club SOLD OUT
Sat April 15 | Brisbane – The Foundry
Wed April 19 | Melbourne – Northcote Social Club
Fri April 21 | Sydney – Oxford Art Factory SOLD OUT
Mon April 24 | Sydney – Oxford Art Factory
Tues May 23 | Brisbane – The Tivoli (all ages) *
Fri May 26 | Melbourne – Margaret Court Arena (all ages) *
Sat May 27 | Sydney – Hordern Pavilion (all ages) *
* with Ryan Adams