INDEPENDENT / UNIVERSAL
Lost Friends – the long‑awaited debut LP from the Sydney-based indie jammers in Middle Kids – is like the perfect frappuccino in audible form. In place of an espresso shot, there’s a bitterness that comes from the sharp and sombre lyricisms; there’s a creaminess in the dusty reverb and psychedelic warbles that glisten the guitars, and a sweetness in the emphatic and homely vocals that frontwoman Hannah Joy conquers like an absolute goddess (her keywork is also damn near compelling enough to snap anyone out of a coma).
Texture is incredibly vital here too: the rough‑edged production offers a decent level of icy crunch, while the always exhilarating melodies deliver an ethereal smoothness to round it all out. And much like the perfect frappuccino, its sadly inevitable end comes far too soon and has us left ever so desperate for more, our hearts yearning more and more impatiently for another taste until we’re finally able to wrap our hands (or ears) around a second dose.
Setting aside our comparisons to delicious summer treats, Lost Friends is just a great album through and through. Every other cut is the type of meteoric anthem you’d expect to see close out an arena show, striking an indelible harmony of ardour and poise (see especially: “Edge Of Town”, “Bought It” and “Never Start”). Those that don’t come not as pace‑stunting filler tracks but some much appreciated respite. They often dig deeper into a rawer and more vulnerable side of the fast-rising trio, a melancholic country twinge drizzled like syrup (sorry) over numbers like the cantering “Maryland” and goosebump-coaxing title track.
Even such cuts are undeniable bangers, though, the former especially brewing up to an inescapably eruptive outro. Ditto for the heartfelt closer “So Long, Farewell, I’m Gone”, which rolls in as a lackadaisical ballad and builds into the album’s single most intense and stunning moment, Joy pouring every last drop of her energy into one final showstopping chorus.
Best served on sleepy Sunday mornings and in the vessel of your most choice pair of headphones, Lost Friends is the kind of debut album you see artists balloon to instant superstars on. It’s loud, yet luscious, and the songwriting never hiccups in the virtuosity on show. And the best part? Zero calories.
Review by Matt Doria (Website).