Sydney’s Middle Kids have capitalised on the success of their debut album Lost Friends (2018) with the release of mini-album New Songs for Old Problems just twelve short months later. Hannah Joy, Tim Fitz and Harry Day have created a cohesive six-song mix to quench the Middle Kids craving in between live performances and full-length feature album releases.
Opening with a literal burst of joy, Beliefs & Prayers takes you on an undulating wave of repetition complemented by Joy’s flexibly floating vocal adroitness. The instrumental and vocal ebbs and flows are aurally pleasing, leaving you craving more. Salt Eyes and Needle, on the other hand, adopt a shared ambience; one of ballady downheartedness that is merely competent amid a midst of other gems on the mini-album.
Tim Fitz’ production stands out on Real Thing a delightful love song featuring Joy’s prevailing vocal laments and the band’s signature distorted guitar reverberation commonly heard in their back catalogue. Real Thing amalgamates a mellowness with edginess and a catchy chorus to be a standout on the album.
Call me Snowflake, echoes the opening track’s up-beatness and captures the same winning formula. It serves to highlight that New Songs for Old Problems is at its finest when Middle Kids are expressing their brashness instead of downplaying it.
Big Softy touches on songwriting duo and husband and wife Joy and Fitz’ vulnerability. Lyrics such as, “It is sometimes hard to go on/ try to find a way to be strong/ it is sometimes hard to go on/ I used to kill it, but now those days are gone” reveal superfluous insecurities when considering the girth of musical prowess expressed on New Songs for Old Problems. Middle Kids need not be concerned because they’re still killing it.
EP Review By Anita Kertes