Back in March during South by Southwest, London-via-Stockholm synth-pop duo K.I.D.S. performed their very first live show, and afterwards we spoke to Rosanna Munter and Charles Cave about that first experience as a live band. They’ve since had a few more weeks to hone their show and start putting together a debut album, and so when the pair stopped by New York City recently, they admitted this whole K.I.D.S. project was finally starting to feel like a real thing.
The band’s music developed organically out of Charles and Rosanna’s friendship (“Most of the album, we wrote in [Charles'] bedroom,” Rosanna told us) and that comfort comes across in the music. The songs are rich and dramatic, avoiding overwrought theatricality thanks to an expert sense of sonic balance: driving bass grooves and moody, billowy synth textures underpin Rosanna’s sweetly inviting vocal melodies.
Up top, check out what K.I.D.S. had to say about the comforts of forgoing the comforts of home, playing the tambourine until you’re bruised and moving to London with the gals of Icona Pop. And read on for everything else you need to know about K.I.D.S.
HOMETOWN: The pair lives in London, but Rosanna is originally from Sweden and they met in Stockholm.
INFLUENCES: Rosanna and Charles converge on their love of Tears For Fears, but Charles pointed out that he tries not to lean too heavily on any one influence or type of sound. “One of the best pieces of advice I was ever given when I was younger was, go to the music shop and buy all the music you don’t think you like, and try to learn how to play it,” he said. “It will just inform you as a musician. You never know how you might use the tiniest thing that you’ve learnt from that.”
SCENESTERS: Both artists are deeply embedded in their country’s music scenes. Rosanna grew up with Caroline Hjelt of Swedish duo Icona Pop, moving to London with Caroline and Aino Jawo and contributing vocals on their material. As for Charles, he’s also the bassist for brooding British band White Lies.
K.I.D.S. — “Ragged Old Angels”
BRITAIN VS. SWEDEN: Their two home countries have perhaps the world’s proudest synth-pop legacies, but the respective versions of electronic music come with their own specific sensibilities. “British music has always had a bit more of a showbiz edge about it. Whereas in Sweden it’s a bit more art-oriented,” Charles said. To which Rosanna laughed and replied, “Because we don’t have as much money as you.”
“Great Britain has always been powerful and well-connected, so musicians there have very direct access to America and all over Europe,” Charles continued. “But in Sweden it’s a little bit more closed, a little bit more introverted. So the Swedes are the arty ones and we’re the sellouts, basically.”
As for Rosanna’s take: “There’s more pop music culture in Britain. While in Sweden, it feels like the best part of Swedish music history ever is made at the moment. So it’s hard to say how we’re going to look back on it. But a lot of Swedish creative people are quite hungry to get out of the country and do something different. Because it’s very dark and cold.”
WHAT’S NEXT: They’ve finished writing their debut album and now need to do all that stuff that comes next (recording, mixing, etc.) ”We’ve gotta finish it, like really finish it,” Charles said. “I would guess early next year for the release.”
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