I wasn’t the only one surprised by Jacksonville, FL band Black Kids being featured over at Pitchfork’s “Forkcast” a couple of weeks ago. Why? Well, the band has only played a relative handful of shows (i.e. relative considering the attention they’re getting) and their most high-profile out-of-Florida gig was here in Athens at the Athens Pop Fest a couple of months ago. Today, their free EP Wizard Of Ahhhs received a glowing review on the site. Basically, the word is out: Black Kids are hot shit. And, well, they kind of deserve to be. They’re super nice, unassuming and fun. They put on a hell of a live show, too.
They got scooped up pretty quickly after their Athens PopFest gig by a big-wig industry super-star manager (the same guy that manages Bjork), have become the darlings of the English mainstream press, and are currently in the UK “talking to labels”. They’ve had multiple offers from US labels, too, and will surely sign with someone in the very near future.
And that’s all good, I guess, but as a band I really like (and think are genuinely nice people) I’m a little scared for them, too. I hope they fall in with trustworthy people, are well taken care of, are not forced to “produce” on demand and will be allowed to grow as a band. Major labels, and more than a few indies, are interested in nothing more than the latest hot-shit thing they can manufacture quickly, sell loads of and then unload when sales start to dip. Black Kids have their sound down but, as a young band, need to be given a gracious learning curve. Most labels won’t give them this (even if they promise it). And it’d be a solid shame if a band as good and as nice as this was crushed by the exhausting (and often ludicrous) demands and expectations of the music “industry” and wound up losing anything that made them special to begin with.
I’m such a sucker for bands like Black Kids. Their echo-y vocals, the dance rhythms…all of it. The band positively radiates joy. They wowed the heat-exhausted, dehydrated PopFest crowd in the middle of an August afternoon.
Although Wizard Of Ahhhs is available for download over at the bands MySpace page I’ve loaded it here, too, because MySpace is notoriously unreliable.
Oh, Black Kids, I wish you well. My fingers are crossed for you and I’m hoping you get everything you want and, even more importantly, what you need. Hold on, baby band, hold on.
Download Black Kids ZIP file HERE.