Piercing vocals, swirling production and energy that seeps in deep with the listener – this is the sound of Kids At Midnight. With her own brand of 80’s inspired indie/synth pop music, the Melbourne artist has carved out for herself a popular place within the fabric of the Australian industry, while new single ‘By Your Side’ is the latest example of this songwriter thriving at her creative best.
Kids At Midnight – aka Jane Elizabeth Hanley – has had a stunning journey so far, with previous single releases ‘Birds’ and ‘Turn It Off’ all striking an intensely evocative and visually romantic chord. Similarly, ‘By Your Side’ takes its cues from pop greats including Kate Bush and Stevie Nicks, while delivering some great moments of vocal drama. “I’m not alone, not anymore,” she sings. “Now I’m right by your side. For now and forever.” It’s hard not to get swept up in the crushing waves of vibrancy the marriage of synths and pop production.
For Hanley, ‘By Your Side’ is a natural progression. Having written and produced all her own work, piecing this new single together called upon her previous creations and in doing so, furthering this colourful soundscape she has pictured since the beginning. “I’ve spent a long time toiling on producing the sound that I want. It’s been years trying to get there. I think I’m finally at the place that I can faithfully reproduce the sound I hear in my head. It’s really exciting for me to know that what I’m releasing to the world is what I wanted the song to sound like. ‘By Your Side’ is a very special song to me; it’s the first single from my debut album and I’ve written, recorded, engineered, produced and mixed it myself. So it’s all Kids At Midnight, it’s really my heart out there for everyone.” Kids At Midnight
The music video for ‘By Your Side’ elevates the loftiness of the track too, focusing on Kids At Midnight, swathed in pastel lighting and engaged in movement. Directed by Kris Vanston, the visuals match the feel of the music, conjuring a soft dreamscape that our vocalist traipses through. Kids At Midnight remains alone in the clip, but when she performs right down the camera, the viewer is sucked right in to be with her in the moment. “The video was so much fun to make. We wanted to create a dreamy, twinkly, smoke machine-y, wind machine-y, super 80’s world. That’s what I love and that’s the sound of ‘By Your Side’ and really, it was an open love letter to the beautiful unashamedness of 80’s music videos.” Kids At Midnight
Described by Triple J’s Richard Kingsmill as ‘a fluffy cloud with lots of tears in it’, the ‘Kids At Midnight’ sound is one that continues to be marked by sonic depth, playful use of tone and a knack for quality production. The response to her music since the release of ‘Electrified’ in 2015 also speaks for itself, with her music accruing two million Spotify streams, as well as enjoying airplay and positive success on Triple J.