Middle Kids: Lost Friends

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Good news: Middle Kids will sound great at any festival you catch them at, with their lively indie pop that varies from song to song; you’ll not get bored and the music is all very familiar.

Bad news: on CD it’s all a bit over the place and ultimately lets itself down because they lack coherence. Not that they’re bad, far from it — the lead singer is a classically trained pianist, the guitarist is a multi-instrumentalist and the drummer studied jazz — but they’ve got too many ideas. They need to pick a sound.

Opener Bought It sounds familiar, a slightly melancholy antipodean pop song. We can’t place it; perhaps their compatriots The Waifs. Mistake is easier to compare: The Cure, with a female vocalist, while Edge of Town is Florence and the Machine, singer Hannah Joy developing a bigger pair of lungs than on the first couple of tracks. If they wanted a sound, this one could be it, and there’s something of Snow Patrol’s easy-on-the-ear guitar riffs there too.

Maryland is a laidback tune with twangy guitar but after that (probably side two on the vinyl) it goes a bit awry, with several songs that are well made but don’t go anywhere, including the title track; they’re a little forgettable and don’t offer the listener anything to grab hold of. Never Start is jolly, if a little Florence By Numbers, Tell Me Something has a nice string section.

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