As the lights in the cramped hotel function room dim, the stage illuminates. The crowd breaks out into a unanimous roar. Middle Kids, Sydney’s rising indie rock and pop group, emerge. First strum of the guitar and the room falls silent. All eyes are fixated on Hannah Joy, lead singer and guitarist. And as she beings to sing ‘Bought It’, first song of the setlist and album, the crowd erupts again.
Middle Kids, an indie / alternative trio, are touring Australia and other parts of the world debuting their newly released LP Lost Friends. The album exudes a roller coaster of emotions demonstrated by bursting sounds and styles that you may initially think don’t fit together on the same album. This fritz of energy carries out on the stage as well.
“Edge of Town”, Middle Kids’ most popular song of the album created a symphony of singing and dancing bodies in the audience. Although it seemed odd for their biggest song to be played mid-set, the uplifting beats and vibrant lights jumping around the room made the crowd forget about the somber nature of the album.
Joy brought us back to a softer reality with “Doing it Right”, a song off of their 2017 EP. A single spotlight shines on Joy as she gives her solo debut on piano. Her melody carries through the room and attaches the audience to her emotional wavelength.
An Onset of Emotions
The crowd favorite was “Mistake”. The energy revived and the audience began to sing, word for word, but this time it felt different. The exactness wasn’t a rote memorization of a perfectly crafted melody. It was visible that the listeners connected to this song. Probably because it tells a story we all know and experience. Eyes were closed and energy was pouring from a room feeling the exact same thing, vulnerability.
Lucky for me my favorite song, “Never Start”, was the encore. Joy got us moving again as the crowd began waving their arms and stomping their feet. By the looks of it it was a sign of a happy crowd and the perfect song to end the evening.
The rough edges and clashing sounds of this album may have some confused. But after getting to witness the album played out in front of me I understood. The vulnerability and emotional collisions on this album are many. Middle Kids have taken a risk to put all of the messiness of the mind on an LP, and in my opinion, it proves successful. Our experiences are often erratic, it’s nice to listen to an album that keeps you on your toes and is masterfully done while not being wrapped up in a pretty bow.
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