Feature, News, Reviews

Middle Kids Release New Single “Bootleg Firecracker” Out Via Lucky Number

May 30, 2023
Photo Credit: Michelle Grace Hunder



Sydney-based three-piece Middle Kids (TimFitzHannahJoy and HarryDay) are about to enter a new chapter in their career with the release today of their latest single, “Bootleg Firecracker” on Lucky Number.

In 2022, the band made an impulsive decision to decamp to Eastbourne, UK in order to spend an intense six weeks with renowned producer JonathanGilmore (The1975). The goal was to transform their lo-fi demos into something fresh, dynamic, and innovative, and to collaborate with a producer who could push the boundaries of a traditional rock band format to its sonic limit while still maintaining the essence of classic pop songwriting.

“Bootleg Firecracker” is the first taste of new music from those intense sessions. The song features beautiful fingerpicked acoustic loops, coupled with an edgy, loping drum groove, unlike anything we’ve heard in the band’s previous work. Lead singer HannahJoy’s honest lyrics explore the concept of the titular ‘bootleg’ firecracker, an explosive yet beautiful force that also carries with it the risk of causing harm. The result is a warm, delicate, and contemporary sound that showcases the band’s creative evolution.

Joy describes “Bootleg Firecracker” as: “a song about the power, magic, and risk of intimacy… It started out as an up-tempo chorus about dancing, but Tim (Fitz – co-producer and bassist) slowed it down, and we came up with this idea of the bootleg firecracker. Fireworks can be dangerous and risky, but there’s something about their explosion of light and heat that brings people together in celebration. I think love is like that.

The track also includes an artistic contribution from Middle Kids’ fans, who submitted audio recordings of their own fireworks celebrations which are seamlessly woven into the outro of the song. The explosive theme crosses over into the official video which was directed by TobyMorris and features firework programming by the company used for Sydney’s legendary NYE celebrations.

Immediately immersive, “Bootleg Firecracker” breaks out with this sweeping melody and highlights the gentle intricate acoustic notes weaving the stunning atmosphere. Then Joy’s standout vocal range sits proudly at the forefront of the arrangement bridging this very direct charm and allowing the harmonies on offer to float with this fierce conviction, which laces the vision with this emotive emphasis.

Another striking arrangement from this outfit, the new music is a welcome return for the three as they proudly boast just how special this outfit really is. Middle Kids have this remarkable energy and stunning songwriting skills, they can adapt their music to reflect any emotion mirrored through their notes. They can flawlessly alter their own consuming and attentive atmosphere they craft, this vital world engulfs the listener and it’s where they wish to remain.

“Bootleg Firecracker” marks Middle Kids’ first release since their critically acclaimed album, Today We’re The Greatest, which won Best Rock Album at the 2021 ARIA Awards.  Released at the height of the pandemic, the album garnered the band several US TV show performances including Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and The Late, Late Show with James Cordon.

Middle Kids first gained attention in 2017 with their debut single, “Edge Of Town” and their debut album, Lost Friends, which won Triple J’s Best Australian Album Award in 2018. The success of their albums has also earned the band an international touring profile which has included supporting shows with the likes of Bloc PartyKings of LeonWar on Drugs and Cold War Kids.


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