On Aussie indie-trio’s “Edge of Town”, a lead guitar dutifully plays a single note repeatedly, distorted to be gently fuzzy to add texture over the smooth slide guitar melody that falls and climbs across thirds. Lead singer Hannah Joy sings the same melodic line over and over, but with new lyrics each time. Add a drum fill, and somehow a song far more than the sum of its parts is born.
At Johnny Brenda’s last Tuesday, Middle Kids made something out of nothing. No single instrumental line, no particular lyric, no rhythm is particularly complicated, but the perfectly synchronized simplicity yields music that is accessible, beautiful, and even brilliant at times. Coupled with Joy’s charisma and an Australian accent, and they have the JB’s crowd won over- not a small feat for a band that leans towards alt-country.
Though Middle Kids only have one EP released currently, it’s reasonable to expect more from the trio that’s already garnered strong support from taste making radio stations (WXPN, KEXP, KCRW). Most recently, they released an acoustic cover of Blink-182’s “All the Small Things” exclusively through Amazon Prime Music. Like the best covers, it completely reimagines the classic pop-punk track, trading angst and energy for a stilting sensitiveness- it just might be worth activating your free trial for.