They’ve been known to describe their sound as “a cross between a late ’80s police drama intro theme and a sophisticated super-hussy”, a “whimful combination of dirt-spitting kicks and feathering grit”.and even “the lubricated moan of spilt vodka”. But today, Jordan from New Zealand outfit Kids Of 88 offers his pragmatic side, describing their work as “dance music with a pop sensibility, and a ghetto rhythm section”.
“It has an accessibility to it,” he says, “which is I guess why we ended up in this position to make an album in the first place.”
The Aukland duo’s debut album ‘Sugarpills’ will be released in Australia on Friday 21st January to coincide with the beginning of their Big Day Out tour. The pair recently wrapped up their first headline Australian East Coast tour on the back of successful singles from the album, including ‘My House’, and the very buzzy and catchy ‘Just A Little Bit’. Oh and they’ve also begun a UK/European tour supporting the trash-pop goddess Ke$ha, which means a lot of to-ing and fro-ing.
Unabashedly sleazing and suggestive, ‘Sugarpills’ has hooks that just won’t quit, making it the perfect soundtrack for a big night out. Yet these party princes are learning that the more international success they receive, the less likely they’re able to enjoy a night out themselves.
“We wanted to go out last night actually; we were in Brisbane and played at a club night and there was a lot of good music on afterwards as well – the place was pumping,” says Jordan. “But unfortunately we had to put the gear back in the car and get moving again. So we tend to miss out in situations like that.”
Both literally children born in ’88, some of their lyrics could easily be perceived as youthfully uncouth. But Jordan and Sam’s new-wave electro sound is well informed by a gamut of contemporary artists and retrospective musical styles the pair were exposed to growing up.
“Being born in 1988, we got to experience the later ’80s music scene which was more electronic-based and a bit quirky, and then the ’90s grunge aesthetic as well – there is a lot of ’90s-style guitar work in our songs,” Jordan admits. “The amalgamation of those two decades is sort of where we lie creatively… We’re not really into reinventing the wheel in terms of producing a pristine techno sound.”
Yet Kids Of 88 are as committed to creatively pursuing new directions for their music, as they are in their mission to astound us with their descriptions of it. “We don’t want to pigeonhole our music so we always keep everything on the creative edge, without ever going too far in one direction. This is what people can expect from our album; there are different tracks for different folks.”
‘Sugarpills’ pays respect to the musical style of their first few singles – the reason the Kids Of 88 started to be taken seriously – but Jordan notes that creating their first album also allowed the duo to add to their sound.
“I guess you could say that we’ve got the pop tracks under our belt, but we also put a bit of alternative creative flavour in the album too,” he says. It’s this creative flavour that is set to enliven dance floors across Australia and the world over in 2011, suggesting that as a band the Kids Of 88 are well and truly on their way to coming of age.
‘Sugarpills’ is released January 21st through Sony Music.