Student band Kids That Fly will release their new EP, “Between The Lines,” on all platforms on April 29. The five-track EP will have previously-released songs such as “Kiss Her You Fool,” “Sunday in London” and “Dreams,” as well as two unreleased songs, “Hazel” and “Maybe.”
Vocalist and guitarist Nick Smeriglio said all five of the tracks on the EP are love songs because “we’re all hopeless romantics.” Bassist Braden Frandino added that the album runs parallel to a coming-of-age story.
“We experience quite a lot in our college years, and to me, ‘Between The Lines’ is a small reflection of what we encounter during our years here,” eighth-semester Frandino said.
Drummer Jacob Stockman commented on how the order of the tracks loosely communicates the EP’s message.
“[‘Between The Lines’] revolves around struggling with different kinds of relationships during adolescence and early adulthood, and as you go through the tracks you can hear different emotions develop, and different sorts of relationship scenarios throughout the songs,” sixth-semester Stockman said. “There isn’t one song that is exactly the same thematically, and the order of the tracks helps that story and feeling unfold.”
Smeriglio said that some of the tracks are more lighthearted, like “Sunday in London” and “Hazel,” while others touch upon more serious sentiments like “Dreams” and “Maybe.”
The title of the EP comes from a lyric in “Dreams.” The band brainstormed many different titles for the project, but found them too complex or lengthy. They realized that “Between The Lines” was a good balance between referencing the music and remaining a good standalone title.
Listeners will notice from “Between The Lines” that the band’s music has definitely matured in sound and in songwriting.
“We’re constantly evolving every time we write new music,” eighth-semester and lead guitarist Blake Henry said. “What also changed our sound is help from our amazing producer, Will Baker. He really helped us create the sounds we wanted to make, but also helped to direct us with them.”
Stockman said the whole band contributed to the creation of every song on “Between The Lines.” Once Smeriglio comes up with the general structure, melodies and lyrics for a song, he’ll bring it to the rest of the band to add their own ideas.
“From there, we play the songs a bunch in rehearsals and at shows to work out the kinks and that’s when we get comfortable with a completed song,” Stockman said.
“Between The Lines” was recorded in two different studios in Brooklyn, New York. Stockman mentioned that his favorite memory from the process of creating the EP was after they first recorded “Kiss Her You Fool” and “Dreams.” After their first session working with their new engineer, Will Baker, Stockman was surprised by the quality of the sound compared to anything they had previously recorded. He mentioned that driving home that night, feeling happy with the work they’d done, was an “incomparable feeling.”
“My favorite memory would also be leaving the studio after recording ‘Kiss Her You Fool’ and ‘Dreams,’” Frandino said. “We had received the demos shortly after, and we rolled the windows down in Nick [Smeriglio]’s Jeep and blasted them all over Brooklyn.”
Of the five tracks on “Between The Lines,” Frandino and Smeriglio said they were most excited for fans to hear the third track, “Dreams.”
“Nick [Smeriglio] and Jacob [Stockman] first came to us with the idea during the summer, right before a big show in Brooklyn,” Frandino said. “We had never actually heard Nick sing the song until we debuted it at the show, and putting all of the parts together and hearing it in its raw form got me hooked. We were all able to put our own little ‘spice’ into it, and we are thrilled with the way it came out.”
“Dreams” is a departure from the other songs on the EP in both sound, structure and lyrics. On first listen, it’s apparent that this song is probably the most complex in content. If this EP were a mountain, “Dreams” would be the summit.
Smeriglio discussed the story behind “Dreams.” He said it began as a song about an unusual feeling of anxiety he was experiencing over a year ago.
“It was a point in time where everything felt like it slowed down a bit, not necessarily for the worst, but everything was moving at a much slower pace than I was used to,” sixth-semester Smeriglio said. “I found myself compensating for the slower pace by overanalyzing a lot of aspects of my life that didn’t necessarily need to be as stressful and complicated as I was making them.”
Since he wasn’t sure how to put this experience into lyrics for a song, Smeriglio framed it through a romantic encounter he believed held the same underlying feelings, which is how the chorus was born.
“In the end I think the idea of anxiety and overthinking that was present in both of the situations is something that a lot of people find themselves in pretty often, and it rose to the top and defined the tone of the song,” Smeriglio said.
“Dreams” is one of three released singles, alongside “Kiss Her You Fool” and “Sunday in London.” According to Stockman, these three songs were released as singles because the band wanted to showcase the amount of work they put into each of them and they wanted each song to get the recognition it deserved.
Stockman explained the meaning behind the other two singles. “Kiss Her You Fool” is simply about having the courage to go after what you want.
“Right now we are all at this weird point in our lives where we are adults but there is still a lot of uncertainty and a lot of things are scary,” Stockman said. “‘Kiss Her You Fool’ is about overcoming that.”
Meanwhile, “Sunday in London” was inspired by a trip that Smeriglio, Stockman and their finance manager, Will Ginn, took to London after their freshman year. Ginn came up with the song’s hook, while Smeriglio later fleshed it out.
The two yet unreleased songs, “Hazel” and “Maybe,” are something that fans should look out for once the EP is released. Smeriglio and Stockman cited different musical influences for these last two songs, including Catfish and the Bottlemen, Coin, Harry Styles, Wallows and Cage the Elephant.
The riff-heavy and hard-hitting “Hazel” is about the pressure and pain of putting yourself out there in the dating world. It’s about those situations where you’re unsure of making the first move or when you’re not sure how to feel.
Smeriglio talked about the meaning behind the last track, “Maybe,” a mellow and acoustic tune that wraps up the EP.
“‘Maybe’ is about longing for that ‘L’ word and trying to find a balance between thinking about it practically and letting it develop naturally,” Smeriglio said. “It’s set in the frame of a guy who has these things he wants to say to this girl he’s liked for a while but either hasn’t had the chance or never felt like the feeling would be reciprocated. In the end he unwillingly accepts defeat in the situation and tries to move on.”
The band’s friend, Sammi Mahoney, is the talent behind the artwork on the single covers and EP cover. Smeriglio said that she helped visualize the band’s ideas, and that they’re hoping to make new shirts and stickers alongside the release of “Between The Lines.”
From continuing to play bigger campus events to now playing shows in New York, the band has amassed a large following over the past year since its debut EP. From performing to songwriting to its overall energy, Kids That Fly has matured and grown a lot since “Lovesick.”
“It is important to note that we’re not just bandmates, but we are all really good friends,” Frandino said. “Being in a band together has helped form a stronger relationship between one another and continues doing so.”
Stockman mentioned that the band hopes to work on an LP in the future, but for now they’ll keep writing and see what becomes of it.
Regardless, they’re not just kids anymore; they’re all grown up and flying first class. “Between The Lines” is another testament to their talent so be sure to check it out. It will have you dancing in your living room and hoping to be at their next show.
Brandon Barzola is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.