10 New Artists You Need to Know: April 2017

Tee Grizzley, Middle Kids, Aldous Harding, J.I.D., Hayley Kiyoko and more

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Middle Kids
10
Maclay Heriot2/10

Middle Kids

Sounds Like: Heartfelt, clever ruminations at the intersection of indie rock and alt-country

For Fans of: Lucius, Angel Olsen, First Aid Kit

Why You Should Pay Attention: Middle Kids' "Edge of Town" made its way to Elton John's Beats 1 show and has been streamed 5 million times on Spotify. Before forming the band last year, vocalist Hannah Joy experimented with myriad settings for her dramatic voice and bittersweet narratives. The versatile Aussie dabbled in dance music and piano folk, but eventually, via collaboration with bassist/husband Tim Fitz, a rock concept emerged. Songs from Joy's solo work and newer tracks featuring Fitz and drummer Harry Day, coalesce on their self-titled EP, released in February on Domino Records.

"There is something very exciting about opening up the creative process to other people when you have a similar vision," Day says. "Working and writing for Middle Kids has brought a lot more expansion and depth to the songs, musically and sonically." Agitated in one moment and delicate in the next, the EP is a satisfying journey for a restless mind.

The trio recently hit SXSW and toured with Cold War Kids in the U.S. "They got us up for their last song each night of the tour – a song called 'Something is Not Right With Me' from their second album – and we all would have a dance with some percussion," Joy recalls. "On the last night of tour they presented us with a little plastic trophy for being their support band." Soon they'll open for musical hero Ryan Adams back in Australia. A full-length album is in the works, with a couple singles set to emerge later this year: Joy promises "more songs that make you feel angsty and happy at the same time."

They Say: "Recording at home is great because you can record in and around moments of domesticity like washing the dishes or taking the trash out. It really feels like the songs grow from your life in a cool way," says Day. "In saying that though it can be a bit of a mess and it's hard to know when something is finished."

Hear for Yourself: A road trip mixtape contender that collides slide guitar, distortion and Joy's unsettled vibrato, "Edge of Town" starts in one realm and concludes somewhere else entirely. Reed Fischer

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