The career of Melbourne songstress Jane Elizabeth Hanley (aka Kids At Midnight) continues to gather pace.
Not only has she recently released a new single entitled ‘Electrified’, but she’s about to hit the stage at an event called ‘Million Dollar Pony Club’ at Transit Bar in her hometown as part of Melbourne Music Week.
New single, forthcoming shows… the perfect time to Get To Know Kids At Midnight a little more.
01. Name : Kids At Midnight.
02. Where are you based? I’m based between Brunswick and Cape Paterson, so most of the week I’m doing music in the city and a couple of days a week I’m down where I grew up on the coast teaching dance.
03. How did you get your start in music? Hmm, well I’d been singing and dancing since I was a little kid at dance school. I grew up wanting to be in musicals but when I discovered The Beatles, all that changed. When I was 16 I bought a second hand guitar and taught myself how to play by watching Oasis videos and copying the songs, then I’d go back to the sheet music I’d copied from a guitar tab website and I’d know that the first two chords I was playing from ‘Wonderwall’ were in fact an Em7 and a G haha, so from that I started to write my own music. I’d play open mic nights and little acoustic shows in bars.
04. Tell us a little bit about your sound and how it developed. Growing up in the ’80s I’d always loved bands with big full haunting synths like Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel, Icehouse, OMD, Spandau Ballet… the kind of music you stand on a cliff with the wind in your hair to haha, but being a poor teenager you can’t recreate that on an acoustic guitar (and also I was learning guitar in my peak Britpop period) so the first things I recorded were very folky sounding. Cut to many years later and a thing called Ableton and midi keyboards became quite accessible and a world of possibilities opened up! Lots of my sound has happened by accident. I taught myself guitar, then I taught myself keyboard, then I taught myself Ableton. So sometimes I’m not aware of what I’m doing until I’ve done it. I’m not one to bluff and say, “Oh yes I really intended to use an arpeggio harp to mirror the fragility of human existence…’ Mostly I’m banging around throwing effects on things having a great old time making sounds and if turns out nice sounding? Brilliant.
05. Who have been your musical influences? My early years were very influenced by storytelling style songwriters, Bruce Springsteen, Kate Bush, Stevie Nicks. Songs where you could see their lyrics like a movie in your head. As I got more into producing my own songs I really fell in love with the French and Nordic productions Daft Punk, Royksopp, Robyn, Kleerup… I like to think my style is a big old mesh of it all.
06. What are your favourite songs of all time? All time? Ooof. The pressure. Georgio Moroder & Phil Oakley – ‘Electric Dreams’. Oasis – ‘Live Forever’. Bruce Springsteen – ‘Born To Run’. New Order – ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’
07. Give us a little fun fact about yourself that people might not know. I’m a pretty mean tap dancer haha and I had a track feature on MTV’s ‘Jersey Shore’. Forever and ever when anyone watches the episode where Sam & Ronnie ferociously break up it has ‘Kids At Midnight – The Chase’ on the screen. I’ll show the grand kids that one day.
08. What’s the best advice you’ve been given in your career? I don’t think I’ve ever been given any specific advice in music, but my writing teacher always told me to ‘write into the darkness’, so I treat writing music and recording that way. I take my producers hat off when I’m improvising chords or lyrics and just go into the wild with it. Then you come back later and structure and add and subtract and EQ and mix etc… you never know what your song might become if you’re editing it from it’s inception.
09. Tell us about your latest release. ‘Electrified’ is my latest single. It’s an indie electronica ballad about feeling a bit like a Frankenstein monster, just sort of existing until someone jolts you into feeling alive. Love is pretty zingy, and can really viscerally feel like you’ve been electrocuted! I wrote, recorded and produced it myself in my bedroom and it’s released on my own label Square Pleasure. I’ve released on Alan Braxe’s French label Vulture in the past, and UK Electronic Rumour but this one I wanted to have a go at mysellf. I go through little obsessive binges and at the time I wrote it I’d been watching a lot of Tom Petty docos, so I wanted to use the Linn Drum sound in some way and ‘Electrified’ came out of that.
10. What do your future plans involve? I plan to build the live show a big bigger and tour! I’m writing and recording the next EP at the moment, and have a pretty cool collaboration with an international producer coming out soon so hopefully I can release the next KAM EP and tour it around Australia a bit. Some festival shows too. The future is pretty exciting.
11. Where can our audience catch you live? I DJ around the city a fair bit and I’m on a panel at EMC in Sydney this year on Dec 02, so everyone should come say hi! But the next Kids At Midnight live performance complete with LED drumsticks will be for Melbourne Music Week – Million Dollar Pony Club at Transit in Fed Square. Sunday November 15. It’s going to be rad as!