Middle Kids - Lost Friends - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Middle Kids - Lost Friends

by Emma Moody Rating:10 Release Date:2018-05-04
Middle Kids - Lost Friends
Middle Kids - Lost Friends

My first experience listening to indie-rock band Middle Kids was  my best friend blaring ‘Edge of Town’ as we raced our way down a curving Texas highway with my hand outstretched towards the setting sun and the end of Summer. Lead singer of the Australian trio, Hannah Joy’s voice led me into a trance as she chanted the bridge of that song. “Hey, guy, have you got something on your mind? Tick, tock, can I take it for a while?” That same song will be featured on the band’s first studio length album, Lost Friends, that will hit the shelves on Friday, May 4th

On first listen, Lost Friends immediately took me to the dimly lit insides of a bar near my apartment. While this may not sound like the rave review this album deserves, it is. Living in a North Florida college town, this bar has been my safe haven as they seem to be the only venue in town that appreciates musical genres other than country and rap. I closed my eyes and very clearly pictured Joy, her husband and fellow band mate Tim Fitz, and drummer Harry Day up on the small stage as I swayed in the crowd.

As a middle kid myself, I feel like the band has done the job of representing not first but not last souls well, presenting listeners with a sound that is hard to pin down but begs to be listened to again and again. Lost Friends is made up of twelve tracks that range anywhere from high-energy indie rock, to emotional piano ballads. Joy keeps listeners on their toes as she switches from barely whispering, beckoning us to come in closer and listen in and then belting out notes.

The album opens with a seemingly sleepy track ‘Bought It’ during which Joy issues a call for help. The song swirls around you in slow motion, entrapping you so you don’t notice the tempo picking up until it’s already washed over you waking you up with a whole lot of electric guitar and a strong drum beat. Whatever “it” is, I’m not sure, but I bought into this song wholeheartedly.

Next up is ‘Mistake’, a song that really hits home as it addresses the very real problem of wanting to say everything but instead saying nothing at all. Or perhaps worse, saying something you didn’t mean. This song really resonates with me as I am the self-proclaimed queen of bottling emotions up and storing them in the depths.

Skip down to number six on the album, ‘Don’t Be Hiding’ and we’re presented with a revamped version of the old adage, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and spins it into “one man’s trash and treasure is all treasure to me because I care about them” as Joy sings, “Don’t be hiding. I am not that bothered by the stuff you’re fighting from the world. It’s the reason that it makes it more exciting. You don’t have to sell it I’m sold, so give me all your garbage and your gold.” Or, I guess, “you’re gold,” depending on how you choose to interpret the lyrics, I guess I prefer the latter.

‘Hole’, an unexpected piano ballad gives the listener a ninety-second break from the upbeat tracks they didn’t know they needed. It is close to being my favorite on the album as it beautifully highlights Joy’s ability to carry a song with minimal help from instruments. 

My personal favorite, however, is an already released single, ‘On My Knees’, which is a work of art that gets all tangled up in your mind as you step into Joy’s shoes who is subsequently begging at the feet an unnamed soul desperately trying to save something lost. “I swear, when I am on my knees it’s different. I swear when I am off my feet, I stare at everything a little different. There’s something there that I have never seen. Yeah there’s something there that I have never seen.” These lyrics remind listeners that every once in a while a good fall from getting the rug ripped out from under you is needed. It not only brings you back down to earth, but reacquaints you with the foundation on which you can build back up upon, much like the nuances of this song.

The album wraps up with ‘So Long Farewell I’m Gone’. Like ‘Hole’, it starts out slow and makes you wonder if you’ve been gifted with not one but two stripped down versions of Middle Kid’s sound, but like a person racing out of sight, it picks up speed with quick tempo-ed drums soon joined by strong strums from an electric guitar. The song wraps up with a lot of controlled chaos in the form of noise that completely envelops you and encourages to join in to wherever it is we’re going until it is promptly ended with one last final strum of the guitar and a few more piano chords. One can only hope, however, that it will be a so long farewell I’m gone, but not for long. Middle Kids truly does have a unique sound and I look forward to the work they will continue to do to revolutionize the way we listen to music and relate it to the world around us. 

All in all, I give this album a 10 out of 10, and maybe that’s just the optimist in me that wants to celebrate anything anyone does all of the time, but I really don’t think so. I truly appreciate the band’s ability to appeal to the masses with songs that can and should be enjoyed by all while maintaining a unique sound.

Overall Rating (1)

5 out of 5 stars