Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Middle Kids remind us of the good, the bad and the in-between on Today We’re The Greatest

"Today We're The Greatest"

Release date: 19 March 2021
17 March 2021, 13:00 Written by Maria Bocci
At a time when the world is littered with chaos, Middle Kids’ Today We’re The Greatest delivers nostalgia and self-reflection, bundled with a sense of optimism that is realistic rather than sugar-coated.

Coming three years after their debut Lost Friends, the trio are stretching their alt rock to encompass both folk and synth pop, resulting in an exploration of both sonic and thematic spectrums - tackling the highs and lows of past, present and future in a more autobiographical way than ever before. Departing from the more abstract and conceptual songwriting of previous, this time Middle Kids are pulling from lead singer Hannah Joy's experiences from before, during and after her pregnancy in the hope that doing so would allow thier listeners to feel seen, and perhaps less alone in their highs, lows and everything in between. .

Three of the singles have already delved into the heaviness of inevitability (“Cellophane”), the frustration of deciphering one’s intentions (“R U 4 Me?”), and the mistaken impressions that tarnish intimate relationships (“Questions”). But the fourth single “Stacking Chairs” is by contrast an ode to blind faith and offering all of yourself to someone else in order to embark on an adventure like nothing you’ve ever experienced. The record in full navigates through both rough waters and calm blue ocean, with moments of wind in the sails and counter moments of pause and reflection for the journey thus far.

Opening with vulnerable lo-fi guitars and introspective lyrics on “Bad Neighbors”, the song creates an atmosphere befitting a personal serenade. Joy’s fluttering vocals reflect the ancient feeling of the folk genre, but the soaring chorus balances that feeling with a modernity, paving way for the more pop-leaning aspects of the record.

Similarly, “Summer Hill” strays from the alt rock sound on their debut record wandering in the direction of synth pop. Electronic instrumentals and warm synths form the backdrop for Joy to tell a tale of perseverance, where the story’s arc, finds synths dancing around an ever-present drum beat and Joy’s vocals wavering.

“Some People Stay In Our Hearts Forever” reckons with mistakes and regrets and flirts with the idea of moving forward. But for just a moment, the goal isn't moving forward but instead glancing back, letting that nostalgia take hold, and feeling the full weight of regret. “We weren’t healthy / but we weren't aware,” sings Joy as she recounts drinking eight-dollar rose under the old oak tree with someone she has never completely gotten over. After all, doing so is an essential step in moving forward.

“Run With You” is easy, breezy alt rock that captures an innocence and companionship that we might only experience once in a lifetime. Written in the early months of her pregnancy, a sample of Joy's 20-week sonogram - her baby’s heartbeat audible over the closing moments - adding an overwhelmingly personal touch.

The title track, opening as a piano ballad, quickly morphs into a full-bodied and jazz-tinged attack on existentialism. Nothing lasts forever, or, as Joy puts it “Someday we’ll be gone / But today we’re the greatest / even though we feel so small.” Even if “life is gory and boring sometimes” there is still “magic in the moment” somewhere in the world at any given time. This track is the mission statement for the entire record that shatters the duality of good and bad as it reminds us not to overlook the gray areas in between.

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