By Helen Fylactou
Everyone has that one album that helps wake them up in the morning, that helps them withstand their day in the office — or at least the morning commute. For the last year or so, Kidstreet has been a prominent member of my morning music rotation. Their self-titled album is a well-developed dance record, weaving from jazz and rock to new wave and pop. Their sound is innovative and bold, and, unsurprisingly, it pays off: Kidstreet is fresh, loaded with texture, precision, and an energy that brings the audience together on the dance floor.
Kidstreet is a three-piece band from Waterloo, Ontario, comprised of siblings Cliff, Edna, and Karl Snyder. I’ve been a fan of Karl Snyder for a long time, following his music from Stargazer to K-Pet and finally to Kidstreet, where he has far surpassed all of my expectations. His talents as a producer, creator, singer, and drummer show the true commitment to music of an exciting Canadian performer that is, without a doubt, on the verge of super-stardom. “Working with siblings is great and weird,” says Karl Snyder. “The main thing I love about it is the lack of ego. They’re both grounded, kind people who I enjoy spending time with. A band is a lot like a family no matter how you come together.” This special combination definitely works: with her breathy-girly voice, Edna’s distinctive vocal performance is reminiscent of a more upbeat Elizabeth Fraser, and is the perfect accompaniment to Kidstreet’s explosive sound. “Penny Candy” showcases Edna’s sensual and feminine voice, which is framed by Cliff’s mastery of the guitar and keyboards. Always captivating the audience, Cliff Snyder delivers an animated performance.
Kidstreet’s influences vary from “international superstars to local artists such as Mike Bond from Bocce and Mike Mercey [formerly from The Sourkeys],” giving the band an advantage in reaching an assortment of people. With growing popularity, Kidstreet played at the Mod Club on Saturday night, where they ignited a dancing frenzy throughout the audience. Making it impossible to stand still, Kidstreet’s always bubbly, candy-flavoured attitude is contagious. “BMX Love,” the album’s opening track, is an abrasive electro piece that stole the show, forcing us to clap along with its throbbing pulse and Stereolab-like disco beats. The dance-floor friendly “Disk Mixer 2013″ was also a crowd-pleaser, making use of a children’s toy as an instrument to produce a sound comparable to quirky German duo Stereo Total.
Since forming in 2006, Kidstreet’s buzz has being building steadily, even gaining the attention of the Ford Motor Company of Canada. Recently, Ford licensed Kidstreet’s music and used their song “Song” in a national ad. “Song” — the least poppy-sounding song I’ve heard from Kidstreet — is piano-driven and perfectly orchestrated with strings and drums. With any luck, this exposure will drive Kidstreet more into the mainstream, where they deserve to be.
For upcoming shows, videos, and music check out Kidstreet’s MySpace.