Middle Kids’ debut LP, Lost Friends (Domino, 2018) is one of the funnest, hookiest, prettiest records of the year. I point to the band’s Australian roots (they’re from Sydney) for their music’s sheer golden-sun tunefulness, because in my experience, those Aussies know their way around a beautiful melody (And as Exhibits A, B and C I give you Courtney Barnett, Tame Impala and Wolfmother, all past winners of Australia’s highly coveted Triple J award for album of the year, just like Middle Kids was this year).
The trio’s origins go back to 2014 when frontwoman Hannah Joy met bassist Tim Fitz through mutual friends and began making beautiful music together, both the kind you listen to and otherwise (as in they’re married now). Drummer Harry Day filled out the combo on their self-titled EP in 2017.
The follow-up full-length, Lost Friends, is a buoyant ride of anthemic indie rock that shuffles and shimmers in a style that fits right alongside acts like Alvvays, First Aid Kit and Oh Pep! — bands that aren’t afraid to put melody above all else.
I caught up with Middle Kids’ Tim Fitz and gave him the Ten Questions treatment. Here’s what he had to say:
1. What is your favorite album?
Middle Kids’ Tim Fitz: Pretzel Logic by Steely Dan
2. What is your least favorite song?
“Aja” by Steely Dan
3. What do you enjoy most about being in a band?
The joy and community that comes with mutual experience and creation.
4. What do you hate about being in a band?
Continually trying to work with others and love them is a terribly painful blow to the ego.
5. What is your favorite substance (legal or illegal)?
6. In what city or town do you love to perform?
Too many! Philadelphia comes to mind. Also played a great show once at Stubbs BBQ in that great Texan city known as Austin.
7. What city or town did you have your worst gig (and why)?
Had a terrible gig in Portland once that involved a sound guy who was definitely affected by some substances, to the point where he didn’t know how to get any sound out of the speakers. They called in another guy to help, who was also out of his mind, and together they drunk drove that sound-desk for the duration of the show.
8. Are you able to support yourself through your music? If so, how long did it take to get there; if not, how do you pay your bills?
We all do a few things in music, a few little fingers in a few pies. We get by with a little help from our friends. It took a while but once you get that first Porsche you never look back. You gotta diversify, hustle and follow your gut. You gotta buy low and sell high. That’s how we do it anyway.
9. What one profession other than music would you like to attempt; what one profession would you absolutely hate to do?
We would love to open a Boulangerie in Paris. We would hate to run a Lawn Mower Shop.
10. What are the stories you’ve heard about Omaha, Nebraska?
We hear that the people are good souls. We’ve heard their skies are cold and gray but their hearts are warm and their eyes are bright.
Middle Kids plays with The Shacks Saturday, Dec. 8, at The Sydney, 5918 Maple St. Tickets are $13 Adv./$15 DOS. Showtime is 9 p.m. For more information, go to onepercentproductions.com.