pop music for the dark soul.

by rebecca willa davis

This week, hundreds of newly formed groups will descend upon Austin, Texas, hoping that they'll be the ones who break out at SXSW. If we were the betting types, we'd put big money on K.I.D.S being 2013's buzz band. The duo, comprised of one Brit and one Swede-- Charles and Rosanna, respectively--play the sort of dark-edged electro-pop music that you could imagine soundtracking not just your life, but the movies you watch and the commercials you see. And the crazy thing? It's not just that K.I.D.S are performing their very first show ever in Austin, despite inspiring a groundswell of chatter with each track posted online, but that the duo never really intended for their music-making to become much of anything.

"We're a band that's formed out of friendship; we wrote the records from minimal circumstances and just did bedroom songs and suddenly we were a band," explains Rosanna. She adds, "We ended up having so many songs and we just realized, OK we should just go for this, this is actually what we're going to focus on in the moment." The end result, an amalgamation of her homeland roots ("When you're from Sweden, it's very dark and cold and that influences you in a way") and his penchant for '70s krautrock, is what Rosanna dubs "pop music for the dark soul." Take the track "Kiss and Play Dead" (which we're exclusively streaming below): "It's about feeling quite desperate for something else, and in need of taking control of that situation--[but] it's actually just a feeling that you can't shake off," explains Rosanna.

Yes, heavy stuff--you can hear its teeth as it switches back and forth between shimmering keys and a raging guitar line--and a song which took the duo, who split songwriting duties 50-50, just two hours to write. Now the real challenge for K.I.D.S isn't coming up with music to put out (they've spent the past year writing and recording tracks and say they are about 70-percent finished with their first album), but figuring out how to turn what was once a bedroom pop project into a live act. "You can expect confidence and music and unpredictability," is all that Rosanna can promise. But for us, that's more than enough. There will be plenty of opportunities to check them out during SXSW--they've got gigs slated for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday--but if you're not going, just listen to "Kiss and Play Dead" on repeat.

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