Last May, Australian-based three-piece Middle Kids released their debut single “Edge Of Town” and low and behold the song caught the attention of none other than Sir Elton John who added the track to his Apple Music playlist and aired it on his Beats 1 radio show. As a result, “Edge Of Town” was on over 30 music outlets in the United States alone with the song getting over three million plays on Spotify. A dream come true for a lot of bands who are just getting their feet wet.
“It is hard to say whether every band has that specific dream, but it is easy to say that we were (and still are) extremely stoked that he liked a track of ours,” Middle Kids lead singer and guitarist Hannah Joy said. “Elton helped me when I was young to branch out of classical piano and explore contemporary keys so I’m a long time gushy fan. Never met or talked to him though, that would be wild.”
What is even more astounding is the band — Joy, along with producer, multi-instrumentalist Tim Fitz, with Harry Day on drums — hadn’t even played a live show together when the single was released. Of course, all that has changed with Middle Kids now playing live in Australia, America, and Europe. But when you have a hit single, it adds a bit of pressure to the band when you step on that stage together for the first time.
“We did feel the pressure for our first show considering we hadn’t played as Middle Kids before. We had played a couple times for my solo project so were familiar with each other’s musicality and because we wrote “Edge of Town” a while before it was released it meant we had time to play a lot. But yeah, we were definitely sweating bullets the first show.”
Following the success of the “Edge Of Town” single, Middle Kids have upped the game with their self-titled debut EP on Domino Records. The six-song EP, which includes the hit single “Edge Of Town,” is an enticing blend of indie rock and folk with intoxicating hooks. Songwriting has been a natural progression for Joy to give the Middle Kids their experienced sound.
“I’ve been writing songs since I was really little. My first documented song is called “The Kindergarten Song,” which oddly enough I wrote in kindergarten. I probably started writing kind-of-okay songs when I was in my teens and now better songs these days. I do love a good hook. I really can’t stand a bad/boring hook, so I don’t always write songs with hooks for fear it being the latter and ruining the song.”
Fears and hooks aside, for a band in its infancy, Middle Kids feel like a band well into their career with its full rich sound and cohesive instrumentation. The songs are incredibly powerful with layering to give it sense of urgency at times then comes back down to an even plain. Fitz’ rolling bass lines sound akin to Adam Clayton (U2), while Day’s drums crash and rumble, Joy’s voice is able to soar above the back beat to draw you in deeper to her words.
“It’s a combo of layering and then committing to give as much as our instrument allows,” Joy said of the Middle Kids songs. “Tim has done a lot of writing and producing with looping so we incorporate that a little bit to fatten some stuff up. And when all else fails we stomp on our octave and distortion pedals.”
With the endorsement of Sir Elton and a successful single in the rearview, the Australian indie rockers are on the cusp of something big with their new self-titled EP. They are heading out on the road in support of the album playing shows with the Cold War Kids and appearing at South by Southwest.
“Touring in America is seriously awesome because there are so many wonderful cities relatively close to each other. Something that is hard about touring in Australia is that often you have to drive 10 hours to get to the nearest next big city. So yeah loving the vastness of the States and just generally loving the States because you da best.”
March 1 || Kansas City, MO || The Tank Room
March 3 || Nashville, TN || The Basement
March 4 || Charleston, SC || The Music Farm *
March 5 || Charlotte, NC || The Fillmore *
March 6 || Saxapahaw, NC || Haw River Ballroom *
March 7 || Atlanta, GA || The Tabernacle *
March 10 || Baton Rouge, LA || Varisty Theatre *
March 11 || Fayetteville, AR || George’s Majestic Lounge *
March 12 || Omaha, NE || Sokol Auditorium *
March 14 || Madison, WI || Majestic Theatre *
March 15 – March 16 || Austin, TX || SXSW
March 18 || Chicago, IL || Riviera Theater *
March 19 || Indianapolis, IN || Egyptian *
March 21 || Detroit, IL || St. Andrews Hall *
March 22 || Toronto, ON || Danforth Music Hall *
March 23 || Pittsburgh, PA || Stage AE *
March 24 || Covington, KY || Madison Theater *
March 29 || Philadelphia, PA || Boot & Saddle
March 30 || Washington, DC || DC9
April 1 || Brooklyn, NY || Baby’s All Right
* with Cold War Kids