Oddly, fireworks inspire a lot of emotions in people; they can be nostalgic, romantic, joyful, celebratory, frightening and sometimes even sad. Australian indie band Middle Kids knows this all too well. The band celebrates all of the feelings that fireworks evoke in their new song “Bootleg Firecracker,” which dropped today.
“Bootleg Firecracker” is the band’s first release since their 2021 pandemic-era album Today We’re the Greatest, which resulted in Middle Kids’ ARIA award for Best Rock Album. The song was recorded with producer Jonathan Gilmore, best known for his work with The 1975 and Rina Sawayama, in Eastbourne, England, during a six-week recording session.
The result is an emotional love song about the sweeping highs, as well as the dangers and risks that come with falling in love.
The band and the producer aren’t the only ones who contributed to the track; their fans did as well. Middle Kids asked their fans to submit audio recordings of their own fireworks celebrations to create the song’s outro.
In addition to the song, Middle Kids also released their inelaborate yet highly evocative music video for “Bootleg Firecracker.” The video, which was directed by Toby Morris, has a celebratory and summery atmosphere, with the band performing in an open field with fireworks exploding behind them. The video, which starts simply enough with Joy holding a firecracker and singing, culminates with the fan-submitted collaborative firework snippets, and a group of awe-inspired people (bundled up in hats, coats and scarves because it’s winter in Australia) watching the bursting fireworks.
If you want to catch Middle Kids playing their new single live this summer, you’re in luck. The Australian band announced that it’s joining Jimmy Eat World and Manchester Orchestra on the emo bands’ co-headlining tour that will be spanning North America. The tour kicks off in Missoula, Montana on July 11 and runs through August 26.
“Bootleg Firecracker” is out now.