For our regular Future Is Now column we profile the hottest artists who are climbing the charts, breaking the Internet or just dominating our office stereos.
SOUNDS LIKE: An update on mid-Nineties indie guitar-pop for the new millennium.
FOR FANS OF: Something for Kate, Last Dinosaurs, the Rockfords.
WHY YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION: When, in April, frontwoman Hannah Joy, guitarist Tim Fitz and drummer Harry Day adopted the monicker Middle Kids and started playing around Sydney, they couldn't have predicted that by year's end they'd have played shows in the UK, U.S. and Iceland – the latter a byproduct of winning FBi Radio's Northern Lights competition, affording them a spot on the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival – and that Elton John would have stumbled across their single "Edge of Town" and added it to his Apple Music playlist and played it on his Beats 1 radio show.
"I have no idea how that happened," laughs Joy. "We were obviously so stoked. That's been the really exciting thing about ‘Edge of Town' for us, it's doing really cool things for us overseas."
Ask Joy why Middle Kids' ascendency has been so sudden, and she points to the years of work she and Fitz have put into their solo careers. "Tim and I have been working for a while, and you have to do the floundering and the exploration of the different sounds, and I think when Tim and I came together we struck something. We found a sound."
That sound is, says Joy, still developing, but for now she sums it up as a "guitar, emotional rocky thing". Certainly the description fits the band's first two singles, "Edge of Town" and "Your Love", both of which will feature on their debut EP, due early next year, after which the band will return to the U.S. having performed a series of showcases there earlier this year.
THEY SAY: In September, Middle Kids hit the road for a run of dates supporting City Calm Down and Ali Barter. "That was really encouraging just in terms of being able to play quite a few shows pretty close together," says Joy. "That's been really important for us. It's so good to play, churning, churning, churning, so that was really awesome. And both Ali Barter and City Calm Down were such legends, so it was a really good experience and got us so excited to keep going."
HEAR FOR YOURSELF: "Edge of Town" – it started as an electro-pop song in rehearsal, but when Fitz suggested Joy pick up the guitar it evolved into an instantly addictive slice of mid-Nineties guitar pop.
From issue #782 (January 2017), available now.