Sydney trio Middle Kids have delighted us with their highly anticipated debut album Lost Friends. Acting as a break from the turbulence of the world, this beautiful collection is a reminder of the healing power music possesses.
Singer-guitarist-songwriter Hannah Joy shared some insight into the optimism that drives Lost Friends. “Even though things are tough, it’s worth believing in something good and in the idea that we can heal. And in some ways, I wanted the music to be beautiful and a respite from what’s going on.”
With this 12-tracker, Joy alongside bassist Tim Fitz and drummer Harry Day, has crafted a sensitive and nuanced collection that bridges sweet pop, heartfelt ballads and fearless indie rock.
Opening track ‘Bought It‘ is one example of the band’s grittier side. Softly rolling into the album with melancholy guitars and contemplative lyrics about overcoming darkness, the track melts through reflections, swelling and then collapsing into a final minute of loud, cathartic rock.
Breakthrough single ‘Edge Of Town‘ remains a pop highlight on the album, sweeping through yearning melodies and aching riffs that will stick in your head for days. This is a track where Joy’s pure voice really shines, jumping from low intimate verses to crystal clear falsetto notes with hints of a country warble in between. Bandmate Fitz says “Hannah’s the only person I know who regularly makes people cry just by singing … Her songs will sometimes sound like how the world feels.”
Indeed it is the ballads on the album that truly seem to capture how the world feels. Joy’s voice is at its most powerful with just a piano accompaniment in ‘Hole‘, which fits an insurmountable much hurt and regret into its brief minute and a half run time.
Second last track ‘Tell Me Something‘ takes the opposite approach, packing intricate vocal lines and harmonies over crashing drums and tapestries of guitars and cello. The heart-achingly beautiful track repeats its bittersweet chorus, growing larger each time, but still always seems to finish too soon.
The standalone beauty of this debut album is brought to its perfect conclusion with huge final track ‘So Long Farewell I’m Gone‘. With marching drums, reaching strings, sparkling synths and truly formidable vocals, it explodes into a blissful purge of past wrongs.
Lost Friends creates bliss not in spite of troubles, but as a result of acknowledging and releasing them. Not only is Middle Kids’ debut a fascinating collection of pop melodies and rock riffs, it’s a soul-cleansing experience that was well worth the wait.
Words by Hayley Franklin.