Kids In The Middle of a Faith Crisis (Pt 1)

Kids In The Middle of a Faith Crisis (Pt 1)

Having just released their triumphant third studio album ‘Faith Crisis Pt 1’, we catch up with beloved Sydney trio Middle Kids to chat separating studio and normal life, recording in a seaside town in England, the importance of having a faith crisis and m

Image credit: Pooneh Ghana

Middle Kids have a new youngest album. Following the release of a string of awesome singles including the likes of Bootleg Firecracker and Terrible News, the indie rock trio’s highly anticipated studio album Faith Crisis Pt 1 is finally here and more than lives up to their acclaimed, award winning second record, Today We’re The Greatest.

With an album title as such you’d expect the record to explore themes of belief and you’d be correct, with songwriter and vocalist Hannah Joy exploring how beliefs are broken and subsequently rebuilt. “It’s something we’re all learning to live through, at times with more grace and at times with less” says Hannah on the experience of losing certainty.

While the album may explore some relatively “heavy” themes, that doesn’t mean it’s a challenging listening experience - quite the opposite, with some of the more jubilant songs belying their lyrical themes. Featuring a satisfying balance of upper tempo, rollicking and anthemic cuts alongside some more mellow, downtempo numbers (including stunning piano ballad album closer All In My Head, featuring Gang of Youths’ Dave Le’aupepe), Faith Crisis Pt 1 sees Middle Kids at the height of their songwriting powers, concocting an intoxicating blend of angsty indie rock and bright, melodic pop.

Recorded over five weeks in the English seaside town of Eastbourne, Faith Crisis Pt 1 saw the trio undertake some new creative practices and experiment with new sounds. Unlike their first two albums that saw the recording process as part of their normal, daily lives, this time around the band made sure to separate the mundanity of regular existence from the recording process. In the spirit of trying new things (to great effect, mind you), Faith Crisis Pt 1 also features the use of synths and organs for the first time, adding a new dynamic to their sound while filling some new sonic frequencies.

To celebrate the release of Faith Crisis Pt 1, we checked in with Middle Kids to discuss the creative process, using new sounds, the importance of experiencing a faith crisis, their upcoming tour and more!

Congrats on the new record! Following the well deserved success of your awesome second album Today We’re The Greatest, how did you go about starting on Faith Crisis Pt 1?

Thanks, it’s great to have the album out. We always like to have about 20 songs written and demoed before going into recording (not including many false starts and little ideas). It was a combination of us feeling like we had the songs and finding Jon Gilmore, who we felt was a really exciting person to work with.

Unlike your first two albums where recording was mixed in with normal life, you did something different this time and really made sure to separate the studio time from everyday happenings - how did this impact the album?

It was intense to go into the studio 12hrs a day for 5 weeks (we had 2 days off). It probably made the album more cohesive. We had to make a lot of decisions every day, for a sustained period of time. It also gave us PTSD.

There’s some awesome synth and organ sounds on the new album, a first for Middle Kids - what led to using these instruments?

Hannah is a very accomplished piano player so she often writes on keyboards. There also were a lot of awesome vintage keyboards at the studio, we kept finding them behind random doors and curtains. We wanted to experiment with some of those textures and make them feel organic.

What was it like recording in the seaside town of Eastbourne in the UK?

Each day was rhythmic and a ritual and very similar. It’s a slow paced town, but very beautiful and calm. We walked to breakfast and then to the studio. We worked, we went to the same deli and ate the same sandwiches every day. On breaks we went for swims in the oceans and walks along the white cliffs. At the time the UK was in the middle of what they were calling a heat wave and what we in Australia call ‘a pretty hot day’.

Is having a Faith Crisis necessarily a bad thing? How does one work through a Faith Crisis?

I would go as far as to say that having one faith crisis (or many) is important and talking about it shouldn’t be scary. We don’t just mean in a religious sense. It’s how we grow, when everything falls apart. Honestly people who have never had a faith crisis are a mystery to me.

Pt 1 implies a Pt 2 - can we expect a follow-up record, or does this allude to having multiple crises in real life?


The latest highlighted cut from the record is the awesome ‘All In My Head’ featuring Gang of Youths frontman Dave Le'aupepe - what was it like teaming up with Dave?

It was a surprise because he doesn’t usually do this kind of thing, so we felt very honoured. It was also natural because we’ve known him a long time (since before we were a band). That song coming together in the final days before mixes were due was a really beautiful thing.

You’ve got a huge Australia and US tour coming up over May and June - how’s the new record feeling live?

We’ve only played a few songs live so far but they are feeling really strong. It’s going to be an incredible show when we have added all the new songs plus our favourite older tracks. Wall to wall baby.

What are you most excited about for the tour?

It’s just so beautiful to connect with people over music. It’s what we love.

What have you been listening to lately?

Basically just listening to the podcast Bandsplain and then becoming obsessed with whatever band that particular episode is about. Highlights - Big Star, Teenage Fanclub, The Minutemen.

Middle Kids' new album Faith Crisis Pt 1 is out now via EMI

Faith Crisis Pt1


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