We’ve long sung the praises of Middle Kids, holding up Hannah Joy as one of the great songwriters of our time and positioning their tracks like “Edge of Town” and “Mistake” as nothing short of era-defining. Now the Australian guitar-pop trio are back with a lively new tune called “R U 4 Me?”, Middle Kids’ first new music in 18 months — a damn near eternity in the pandemic age.
Produced by Lars Stalfors (St. Vincent, Cold War Kids, Soccer Mommy), “R U 4 Me?” is kaleidoscopic in its sound, and continues the band’s knack for crafting infectious songs that stay planted in your head long after a single listen. It’s a nice push forward from last year’s New Songs For Old Problems EP and 2018’s breakout Lost Friends album, but still retains that Middle Kids magic.
“I was at university once,” says Joy about the track, “and there were all these signs on the walls saying ‘BE NICE IT’S NOT THAT HARD.’ The tone of the message itself actually wasn’t very nice or kind…. We are always looking around at other people thinking ‘are you on my team?’. I think this just results in us all feeling lonely.”
“R U 4 Me?” is available to stream via Spotify, but it also arrives with a music video directed by W.A.M. Bleakley, billed as “portraying a story of youth, peer pressure, social isolation and the joy of finding a place to belong,” according to the band. Answer the track’s title question with authority below.