The Sydney super-duper-group Middle Kids have put their debut single out into the world, making us feel all kinds of nice things. Ahead of its launch, we caught up with singer and guitarist Hannah Joy to talk through ‘Edge of Town’, making music with friends and the mythical status of middle children.
How did you guys start playing music together?
Tim [Fitz] and I had been collaborating for a while on each other’s projects and then decided to eventually merge them into a SUPER project (read: a-slightly-better-project). Tim had known Harry from way back, so we started playing together. Each agreed we were experiencing something special musically/creatively so clink, clank, here we are.
I’m also curious about the name Middle Kids. It immediately reminds me of middle child syndrome. Where did it come from?
Well besides running through a list of potential band names and us going “Oo yeah, Middle Kids is cool”, it is getting more common for families to have one or two children so middle children could become extinct and take on a mythical status.
Harry Day has often been referred to as a newcomer, and remains a little bit mysterious to the ~internet~. What is his musical background?
Yes, Harry, the dark horse! He’s played in a bunch of bands, he studied at the Con [Sydney Conservatorium]. He’s got that coveted mix of technical proficiency and organic groove.
Is there any music that all three of you love at the moment?
We’ve been listening to Brian Jonestown Massacre a lot lately. We probably like what a lot of people like.
‘Edge of Town’ is a really beautiful track. It reminds me of walking around my own hometown Canberra, in the twilight, which is nicer than it sounds. Was the track inspired by any particular places or feelings?
Hey, that’s a really beautiful image. The track was written about how you think you are in control of everything and then something happens and you realise oh woah no, I know nothing. So it’s a bit angsty in that way, but also hopeful because there is freedom and excitement in the unknown.
The bulk of the work yourself and Tim have both released has been as solo artists. How has the process of making music differed between making music (mostly) alone and then with a group? Have you learnt anything new?
It’s really nice being in the creative process with other people. It is more challenging but it’s good because it gets the individual out of the way to make more space for the music.
Tim Fitz directed the clip with Ro Miles. How did this collaboration come about?
Ro is an absolute legend and old friend and we like working with friends!
The video for ‘Edge of Town’ reminded me a little Tim’s video for ‘Hospital’, with images of domesticity presented in an odd way. Where did the idea for the video come from?
The song mentions coming face to face with the King of the Underground, and we thought it would be funny to portray it as a very anticlimactic suburban affair.
You’re launching the single at Oxford Circus on July 8th. It’s relatively early days with your live roster, but what are you hoping punters will take away from the gig?
We really just want people to have fun and hope they connect to the songs. We are looking forward to experiencing the togetherness of music.
What are your plans after finishing up with supporting City Calm Down? (Taking this opportunity to say please come to Melbourne).
Coming to Melbourne! (those are just words, but at some point we will, I’m sure). We will have released an EP before the City Calm Down tour so after that we will hopefully be heading to the northern hemisphere to play and be rustling up an album.
And finally, what advice do you have for young people looking to get into the music industry?
Practice your scales everyday.
If you’re a blessed Sydney-sider, make sure to catch the launch of ‘Edge of Town’ on Friday 8th July at The Oxford Circus. $5(!) door entry. Middle Kids will also be supporting City Calm Down at the following dates on their national tour.
Saturday 17th September – Max Watts, Brisbane
Friday 23rd September – Metro Theatre, Sydney
Saturday 24th September – Waves, Wollongong
Friday 30th September – 170 Russell, Melbourne