As I write this, I am looking at the local weather report, and much to my dismay, it looks like I’m in for one helluva’ snowstorm. Well, I guess that’s what I get for living in a state with a bipolar climate. Nevertheless, I remain hopeful that things will turn around. At least, that’s what Kid XL‘s new single “Caroline, Make Up Your Mind” would have me believing.
Unsurprisingly, this new surf-rock trio is from Australia, where the weather is always warm. Comprised of Sean Anthony, JJ and Liam, this new act is an offshoot of fellow lo-fi act, Braves, whose lead-singer also happens to head up this effort, as well. In this latest project, Mr. Anthony continues his adventure into the hazy, sun-dappled arena that is the garage-rock scene.
Filled to the brim with catchy, upbeat guitars and lush vocal harmonies, this song teases us with imagery of the Gold Coast and is a friendly reminder that summer is right around the corner. So for all the Drums fans out there—listen up! I just found your new favourite band.
Listen to “Caroline, Make Up Your Mind” and read our interview with Kid XL‘s charismatic lead-singer, Sean Anthony, down below.
Indie Current: How would you describe Kid XL’s sound?
Kid XL (Sean Anthony): Having just released our first song, I’d be reluctant to define our sound so early on. I’d say we have warm DIY aesthetic that is full of fuzzy vocals, upbeat rhythms and loads of melodies to produce a guitar-driven, indie-pop sound. That being said, we do own a few synths, Casio keyboards from the 80s and even a Suzuki Omnichord. So I’m sure our sound will diversify over every release.
IC: Who are some of your influences?
KXL: I can’t ignore the influence of writing and recording in Braves. We’d all be in the same room when recording the songs and we’d all have an opinion on whether the song was sounding right. Although we’d walk into a recording with a particular riff in mind, most, if not all of the songs were written on the spot. By being in that environment you learn to be critical of your work. With patience and a bit of creativity, you also learn to approach songwriting with the idea that anything can be improved upon.
Apart from my own work, I would say that Oberhofer, Dom, King Tuff, Hanoi Janes, FIDLAR, Cloud Nothings and The Drums are huge influences. They all have interesting breakdowns, catchy melodies and strong lyrical hooks. None of us have had formal training in sound production, so achieving a sound similar to those bands is always a challenge production wise.
IC: What is the message you’re trying to convey with your music?
KXL: I don’t think there’s any kind of message we deliberately convey. In fact, I wouldn’t read too much into our music. I do enjoy placing pessimistic lyrics over upbeat melodies, but really we just like to play music that is fun for us as musicians and the audience.
IC: When will the EP drop?
KXL: We pretty much know which songs are on going on the EP, so it’s just a matter of getting them to sound the best they can. We’ll release one more song this month, then hopefully release the whole EP come March.
IC: What is your song process like?
KXL: From writing lyrics to making the music, our recording process can be pretty drawn out. First, the songs are recorded onto midi drums. After that, we re-record all the parts to ensure there is a strong dynamic between the guitars and drums. As you might expect, our lyrics usually come after the music, as I tend to listen to the recording on repeat until a vocal melody sets in and words start to emerge. When writing, I imagine how the song would be received at a festival; I’d want people to be jumping around, climbing up on stage and just enjoying themselves. I wouldn’t want to be a boring band to watch on stage, so we emphasize having melodies that you can hum along to or whistle. This makes our songs much more accessible.