Thursday, December 22, 2016

Pitstop: And The Kids

Sometimes musical discoveries come to you by happenstance and you immediately follow the lead and end up finding a band you're super into. Other times you have to be practically bludgeoned by suggestions before you actually pay attention and give the band a listen. Northampton quartet And The Kids are far more of the latter. Despite numerous appearances at my hometown venue BSP Kingston over the past two years, and even a recommendation coupled with a listen to "All Day All Night" from Eamon over at Small Plates Records as recently as last year, it wasn't until they announced a tour with experimental rock faves Palm earlier this year that I finally took the hint. Sort of. While I had plenty of time to acquaint myself with their music between the tour announcement and when they actually hit NY, I neglected to do so and experienced them for the first time live twice in one weekend.

And The Kids are definitely the kind of band that are worth seeing live first, last, and everywhere in between. Even whittled down to a trio, the group is insanely tight knit; their energy utterly vivacious. Their harmonies immaculate and their hooks effortlessly infectious. But their intense live energy would mean nothing if their songs weren't any good and thankfully And The Kids are making tunes that are so incredibly hard to pin down. It helps that Hannah Mohan's vocals are so distinct and so versatile - easily shifting from more meditative folk inspired numbers to the frenetic avant pop that makes up much of their sophomore effort Friends Share Lovers that they released earlier this year. That versatility applies to the band at large often switching gears in the midst of a song. That's perhaps one of the biggest treats of the band's songs - you're never quite sure where the songs will end up or how important some of your favorite musical moments will end up being. Where some bands aim for settling into familiar grooves, And The Kids push themselves towards bigger and bolder musical statements capitalizing on the momentum to pivot from moment to moment perfectly in tune with when to build it up and when to let it go. The result is songs that are rewarding to listen to that are distinct in their progression.

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