“Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with a melody in my head and I’ll hop downstairs and make a voice memo so I don’t forget it,” says MKB frontman Christian Nenonakis. “That’s pretty much how I got the initial melody for the chorus of ‘Never Break Your Heart.’ The lyrics came from my half-dream state ad libs. When I listened back the next day, I really liked the melody and the line ‘I’ll never break your heart,’ so I wrote the song around those two things. I genuinely love my girlfriend, so it was an easy song to write.”
After much enthusiasm that helped foster the band’s self-titled, 2021-released EP, My Kid Brother are branching out. The band rose up out of Leesburg with a singular sound reflective of the city’s small-town intimacy, yet wildly ambitious all at once. The indie pop quintet fuses warm keys, wistful psychedelic melodies, off-kilter guitar, wiry grooves, iridescent harmonies, and vocal interplay.
Happy.Mad.Weird.Sad, recorded with producer Eric Palmquist (Thrice, Bad Suns, Mutemath), builds on their EP’s polished, hooky rock with heavier riffs (“Roots”) and thicker grooves (“High Society”), colorful and quirky arrangements, lyrics that span stalker tales to unfiltered love songs, and choruses that punch with a newfound intensity (“Shoulders”).
As the story goes, Neonakis and drummer Sam Athanas worked together at a local restaurant back in 2015. After meeting guitarist Dylan Savopoulos, they began jamming before inviting bassist/guitarist Richard Smith into the fold. The lineup cemented upon Piano Whitman‘s addition as vocalist/keyboardist/synths in October 2018. Beyond music, their bonds even extend to their respective living situations. Their friendship is the backbone of their musical unit, as well.
And that fosters the creative surge on Happy.Mad.Weird.Sad. It isn’t surprising, given the amount of work they spent building up to it. The band members —who still live in and around the small-ish town of Leesburg, located roughly 40 miles northwest of Washington, D.C.— had plenty of time to think (and occasionally overthink) their songs, with the pandemic having stifled their early momentum. Even though the world shut down as the band was getting its legs under it, My Kid brother garnered media support and critical acclaim from key media outlets like American Songwriter, Billboard, The Noise, Guitar World, and Alternative Press, the latter of which christened them one of 100 Artists You Need To Know.
HAPPY.MAD.WEIRD.SAD TRACK LISTING:
“Never Break Your Heart”
“Make You Make Believe”
“Come Back Down”
MY KID BROTHER ARE:
Christian Neonakis — Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Piano Whitman — Vocals, Piano, Synths
Dylan Savopoulos — Guitar, Backing Vocals
Richard Smith — Bass, Guitar
Sam Athanas — Drums