“In this song, I used an image of the ‘highlands’ as a euphoric place where I have the space to be me, and you have the space to be you."
Sydney trio Middle Kids are back with a euphoric new single that should soundtrack your next road trip to the Highlands.
It’s the perfect track for Middle Kids’ current 29-date opening slot for Manchester Orchestra and Jimmy Eat World across the US. It gives just enough pop-punk energy and an anthemic chorus to accompany the bands who wrote Shake It Out and The Middle, respectively.
Their second single to be produced by Jonathan Gilmore (The 1975, Beabadoobee), following the previously released Bootleg Firecracker, the Highlands music video was directed by Toby Morris in, you guessed it, the highlands in New South Wales surrounding Jindabyne.
Channelling vocalist Hannah Joy’s Scottish heritage, creating a new music genre called “yearncore”, and embracing the constant need to be free, Highlands is relatable and inspirational in all the right ways.
“Since I was young, I’ve had this yearning to be free,” Joy explained in a statement. “In this song, I used an image of the ‘highlands’ as a euphoric place where I have the space to be me, and you have the space to be you. Part of the imagery comes from my Scottish heritage, which my grandmother was always so proud of. I recorded some big slow piano chords which Tim [Fitz, bassist] mangled into the atmospheric hits in the intro.”
She added, “When we finished the song with Jon Gilmore in the UK, he thought it was important that the song felt punky, like a bunch of teenagers practising in their garage. So, there are these two energies fighting it out - the constricted energy of the domestic space and the wide-open energy of the highlands. We have a friend who calls this kind of music ‘yearncore’. It’s that impatient energy that says, ‘I can’t keep waiting; I need a change’.”
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You can check out the music video below.
Highlands arrives just under two weeks after Paul Dempsey’s legendary cover of Middle Kids’ 2017 hit, Edge Of Town, landed at #31 on triple j’s Hottest 100 of Like A Version tracks. In 2021, Middle Kids took home the ARIA Award for Best Rock Album for Today, We’re The Greatest.