2018, Music

Lost Friends (2018) by Middle Kids

I didn’t mind their debut EP, it was fine. I wrote:

This band have a lot of energy and charisma and the songs are actually pretty strong. But, of course, there is a really strong sense of deja vu given their jangly, occasionally rootsy sound. I’ve heard lots of bands that sound somewhat like this in my life. This one is better than many but also it’s 2017.

I think the songs are fairly strong though they might have been stronger, or sounded a bit fresher, on the EP. I’ve been listening to so much different music lately including, funnily, a lot of indie rock, that my memory of the EP is already fading and it’s only been a few days since I last listened to. But I think I know what difference I detect in the songs, and I’ll get to that in a minute.

Musically, this is extremely middle-of-the-road indie-ish rock. In fact, sometimes it doesn’t sound like indie rock, but more on that in a moment. The palette is pretty straight-forward. They do sound bigger than a trio a lot of times but more on that in a moment. There’s certainly not a lot here that sounds fresh. Fitz is reasonably charismatic and I get a sense of authorship but the sound of the band is that of a indie-ish band, one we’ve heard way too many times before.

For me, the real issue is the production. Everything is bigger than on the EP: the songs seems bigger, the band seems fuller and louder, and every song feels like it’s been given a makeover for an arena. RYM categorized this, in part, as “Big Music,” a term I had not yet heard (or had forgotten). I’m not sure the bands listed for “Big Music” completely captures what’s going on in the production but it does give you some idea – the sound is “big” and not necessarily in a good way. The sound feels designed to make the songs and band sound more mainstream than they sounded on their EP or they might otherwise. It sounds like arena music. And I do not mean that as a compliment. Arena indie? That’s probably been a thing for years but I didn’t necessarily know about it.


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