Black Kids

Black Kids
Courtesy of Sony BMG

Black Kids – “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You”
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Making a good pun is a craft. It has to be clever without being corny, easy to understand without being obvious. No matter how good one’s intentions are, most attempts at puns fall flat.

But Black Kids, an indie pop quintet hailing from Jacksonville, Fla., succeed with “Hit the Heartbrakes,” the first song on their debut album, Partie Traumatic, about a relationship that is going downhill. But the title isn’t the only good thing about the song or the album.

Every tune is catchy, mixing traditional pop sounds and electronica, with even their slowest tracks like “I’m Making Eyes at You” inducing some foot-tapping at the very least. Other songs, like “Look at Me (When I Rock Witchoo),” are great for dancing.

Despite the fact that Black Kids use many of the same musical techniques on their songs, each one still sounds distinctive, frequently because the group emphasizes the fact that it is co-ed. Although Reggie Youngblood is the band’s main vocalist, the two female keyboardists Dawn Watley and Ali Youngblood lend their voices on every song. Even if their high voices are only singing a fun hook, they always add a welcomed layer to the songs.

And as great as the instrumentation and vocal tricks are, what really makes Black Kids fun to listen to is their cheeky lyrics. Song titles like “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You” and “I’ve Underestimated My Charm (Again)” give an indication of the group’s cynical, sometimes conceited lyrics.

With an album climbing British pop charts and nods from both Rolling Stone and Paste as a band to watch this year, Black Kids are on a roll and won’t be hitting the brakes — heart or otherwise — any time soon.

–By Entertainment Editor Ani Vrabel

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