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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | February 19, 2020

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Middle Kids Provide Answers on New Songs For Old Problems

Middle Kids Provide Answers on New Songs For Old Problems
Michael Hannay

Sydney indie rockers Middle Kids’ new EP New Songs for Old Problems is an unapologetically loud follow up to the band’s 2018 full-length Lost Friends, and it’s more than capable of filling the big boots of its predecessor.

Lost Friends is the record that catapulted the band to massive audiences both nationally and overseas, and New Songs for Old Problems will certainly see the band continue on the trajectory they’re already on – sold out shows all over Australia and what seems like a constant international itinerary.

Single ‘Real Thing’ shows the band’s talent for writing engaging stories and presenting them as songs – upon releasing ‘Real Thing’ guitarist and singer, Hannah Joy, described it as “…about the quiet, persistent voice in the stillness that constantly checks to see if you truly think you’ve found the thing you’re looking for.”



Middle Kids‘ talent for tapping into genuine emotion is again apparent on ‘Salt Eyes’ –   the introductory verses paint a picture of a night out with people that you don’t particularly like, and as a result the refrain of “…you’re never mean but you’re never that kind” feels self-reflexive rather than an observation on the dull or pretentious friend with “…novels I bet you’ll never read.”

It could be a result of being sandwiched between two massive songs like ‘Salt Eyes’ and ‘Real Thing’ on the track listing, but ‘Needle’, an almost country-tinged rock song, feels surprisingly one-paced and almost unnecessary by the time ‘Big Softy’ comes around.

‘Big Softy’ is another slow-burner that progressively builds to a massive ending. “I used to kill it but now those days are gone,” is sure to be a fan favourite line, and feels almost designed to belted back at the band at the end of a show.

The record, much like its predecessor, was recorded and produced at Middle Kids’ own studio by bassist Tim Fitz and was released in Australia by EMI and is available online or through music retailers.



New Songs for Old Problems is largely a triumph – the band explore different sounds throughout but ultimately retain what captured audiences nationwide with ‘Edge of Town’ a few years ago – danceable indie rock anchored by Joy’s powerful voice and relatable lyrics.

New Songs for Old Problems is available to stream on Spotify.

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