Middle Kids – Today We’re The Greatest

A joyous slice of optimism...

Though this winter has been a long one, cold, bleak and with little end in sight, spring’s first tentative touches have arrived fittingly at the same time as Middle Kids’ second record, 'Today We’re The Greatest'. And, much like the season it arrives in, harbours warmth and richness in abundance, but a sense of fragility and vulnerability also.

Made up of large swathes of widescreen, technicolour indie-pop and quieter, more introspective moments, 'Today We’re The Greatest' is a record made for open roads. It’s interesting given just how made for travel that this record feels, that its creation was more much stationary than its predecessors’. Indeed, where the band’s 2018 debut was written, recorded and mixed on the road across various tours, this was record in Los Angeles and mixed throughout 2020, a year when travel was all but impossible.

As such, 'Today We’re The Greatest' is calmer and more considered record; the drastic reduction in pace of life allowing frontwoman Hannah Joy’s lyricism to become more open and honest than ever before. Though this dropping of her guard can’t just be attributed to both her marriage to bandmate Tim Fitz and the birth of their first child, it’s these two events which inform much of the record, resulting in an album that’s both heartfelt and sincere and utterly irresistible in the process.

Opening with the soaring acoustic offering of ‘Bad Neighbours’, the more relaxed, and indeed open, nature of the album is established instantly, subtle layers of mounting guitar and strings serving as the only accompaniment to Joy’s effortless vocal.

Elsewhere, the more frantic tracks of their debut are harked back to in the form of previous single ‘R U 4 Me’ or later tracks ‘Run To You’ and ‘I Don’t Care’. Yet even these tracks, however, feel more considered than anything Middle Kids have released previously, though still harbour the same effervescent energy we’ve come to expect.

While touring, and indeed travel, might be on hold for the vast majority of us, life itself goes on. That’s something that Middle Kids seem to understand explicitly, and it’s this journey that 'Today We’re The Greatest' soundtracks so perfectly. Always a band that have been able to find the beauty in life, both bad and good, it’s this that Middle Kids have succeeded in distilling the essence of, bottling it across 12 tracks of sun kissed vulnerability and coming to the conclusion that life could be much, much worse.


Words: Dave Beech

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