SXSW // Kids These Days

They arrived, caravan-style, after a long drive from Chicago. Two horns, a rapper, a chanteuse and a blues-rock trio. Together, they create a new hybrid that combines old skool musicality with a hip hop fervor, something they define as “trap house rock.” A phenomenon as much as a music group, Kids These Days started out jamming in the basement of a band member’s house. Most of the members—18 is the average age—are trained at the Merit School of Music’s improv and jazz program. Focused on positivity and talented beyond their years, the crew is serious about music while sharing an effervescent sense of humor that reminds these Kids are, well, kids. Still, they’ve caught the ears of some heavy-hitters since releasing their debut EP Hard Times. They’ve been profiled by the New York Times, and on the afternoon when we caught them, none other than dream-maker LA Reid watched intensely from the crowd. On that sunny afternoon at Austin’s Clive Bar, when Kids These Days worked even the most jaded music head into a lather at their performance, we couldn’t help but think—the kids are most certainly alright.

—Angela Cravens