out of place - CD
Kids With Buns' biggest milestone so far will be their debut album out of place, due for release on October 13. On the album, they created their own sound inspired by Marie’s all-time favorite artist Nick Drake, and Ben Howard, who influenced Amber's guitar style. Most importantly they drew from Girl in Red who also writes candid guitar songs and, like them, does almost everything herself. But they managed to stay close to what makes Kids With Buns, Kids With Buns: the intimate indie rock driven by Amber's melodic guitars and Marie's uniquely deep voice, creating sad bangers to dance to during a mental breakdown in the bathroom. 'We’ve had to search for a while,’ they astutely state,’ but I think we've pretty much found our sound now.’
Out of place is more intense than what we’ve heard from Kids With Buns so far, more indie rock than the soft bedroom pop of before, in the tradition of sad girls like Phoebe Bridgers and her Boygenius. Intro sets the tone with warm, fuzzy guitars that could have come straight out of a Slowdive song. As the album progresses, the guitar takes the upper hand again. ‘Ever since we have had a band, we gained the freedom to go crazy on stage,' says Amber. 'And also on the record, we wanted to rock out more.' It’s clearly heard t in ”The Balance” and “Nothing New”. Here, the riffs that used to be so typically Kids With Buns are traded in for more intense guitar sounds.
Amber and Marie mainly did the preproduction of the record themselves. They locked themselves away over a long summer in a homemade studio at Marie's house. There, Amber taught herself how to produce, they discussed lyrics from morning to night, thought about how they would translate their stories into songs and worked out the artwork - the album cover features a slightly battered two-headed teddy bear they made with the help of an enthusiastic grandmother. ‘You don't have to think too big about that studio,’ Amber explains. ‘We had a computer, some cheap microphones, a lot of guitars we collected over the past few years and hot meals from Albert Heijn.' But it was enough. For the recordings themselves, they worked at the Johnny Green Giant studio in Ghent with Stijn Konings, Dajo Vlaeminckx and producer Mathias Stal, who also produced their first songs “Bad Grades” and “1712”.
Out of place became a candid coming-of-age record about teenage angst and the struggles of growing up in a still too often homophobic world. Nevertheless, you don't have to be queer to identify with the album. “Daughter”, for instance, is about trying so hard to conform to what your parents and friends expect of you that you end up neglecting your own happiness. The chorus is a reply to those expectations: 'You've got to learn to let me loose, I'm not the person that you think to tick all the boxes.' “Bathroom Floor”, the album's first single, is about comparing yourself to friends who already bought a house and have a 'serious job’. It’s also about being afraid to admit that you don't have your shit together. “Clutter”, on the other hand, is about isolating yourself because you are over-stimulated, with the result of you becoming so lonely and lifeless that you no longer have energy for even the simplest everyday things. 'The glass that I broke four weeks ago, it's still on the floor, it's part of the room now,' sings Marie.
Friendship, heartbreak and falling in love - often for the first time - are also major themes on the album. “Stubborn Mind” revolves around an argument with a significant other in which you are too headstrong to admit you are wrong. 'You are sabotaged by your own stubbornness. If you don't listen to the other person, you risk losing them. But in the heat of the moment, we sometimes forget that.' “Pale Face” reflects on a friendship break-up and how it can often be more painful than the end of a relationship. In turn, “How Bad Could It Be” is a dialogue between two best friends who fall in love with each other but do not dare to express it. Because, what if it's not mutual? And above all, what will people think? The subsequent song on the album, “Colder”, continues the dialogue, thus forming the sequel to “How Bad Could It Be”.
The feeling of being the odd one out is the recurring theme throughout Out of place, but it is most strongly expressed in “Nothing New”, which according to Marie is 'the most emotional song on the record'. '"You made me think I was sick", we sing. When your environment constantly makes you feel like there's something wrong with you, eventually you start to believe it.' It's a song about being bullied for your orientation, and the accompanying helplessness and frustration you experience because you never said anything back. 'It drives me insane, how I never fought back' the lyrics go.
'In almost all of the songs on the album we express things we would have wanted to say in a certain situation, but were afraid to do so,' the duo states. On “Out of place”, Amber and Marie give a place to some difficult memories while trying to have a better understanding of their environment, hoping they can help others to do the same. That seems to be working out, evidenced not only by the sold-out shows and places on the charts, but also by the many young people who come out after gigs to tell how much Kids With Buns' music helped them when they were struggling. ‘It's nice to notice that people find comfort in what we wrote,’ says the duo. ‘Your teenage years and the period that follows can be intense, even if they are often romanticized. With Out of place, we want to acknowledge that sometimes it just sucks. And that's okay.’Out of place will be released on October 13. On December 7, Kids With Buns will present the album at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels and on December 14 at De Helling in Utrecht.
4. How Bad Could It Be
6. Nothing New
8. Pale Face
9. Bathroom Floor
10. Stubborn Mind
11. The Balance
12. What Happens In Your Brain