Calling the Hampshire College campus in Amherst home, Valley act Kids Choice is more than just your average college band. In fact, the group, whose members—Angus Davidson (violin, vocals), Cooper Evans (keyboard, vocals), Mike Healey (guitar, vocals), Josh Keehn (bass, vocals) and Owen Neuburger (drums)—are all students at Hampshire, cites the feelings one associates with the first semester at college as inspiration for its name and its outlook on life and creating music.
“What was important to us in that first semester of college, and is still important now, was feeling young and enjoying life and thinking of ourselves as kids and not taking ourselves too seriously,” says Healey.
“We also wanted to be playing for Hampshire College mainly in the beginning, and Hampshire seemed very much like a bunch of fun kids,” adds Evans. “We really wanted to put on a fun, lighthearted show that the kids loved.”
One way Kids Choice sought to include its audience in its early shows was by featuring a segment called “A Kid’s Choice,” where the crowd was allowed to vote for one of two covers the band had learned in order to determine which song would be played that night. Though it’s no longer a main feature of the group’s show, the segment still makes an occasional appearance.
Currently, the band has been continuing to work on adjusting to its new configuration as a quintet. Despite playing together as a five-piece since Halloween of 2011, Davidson says Kids Choice has only recently begun writing together with the bass and drums as foundational elements rather than as means to augment material written for a three-person outfit.
“In one of our new songs,” he says, “the bass lick is what drives the verse, and [on] another one, we have the drums bringing us in and out of half time. It feels nice to more fully use all the instruments in composition.”
Interested listeners can check out the band’s latest EP, You My Brother, on its Bandcamp page, but plans are already in the works for Kids Choice to record an LP once the group decides on what sounds it wants to incorporate on the release.
“Coop has been exploring recording studios for our next full-length album,” says Davidson. “We’re still deliberating about what kind of sounds we want to be on the album—some of the old feel, how much of the new, et cetera—and trying to figure out what studio will best accommodate us. We’re newcomers to recording, and so we’re cautious to make sure we get something we’re really happy about that we can send out to listeners.”
Healey adds, “Our goal is to make you, the listener, happy. We want to entertain you and make you smile and feel our joy through our music. Expect fun and a freaking blast. Don’t expect a free T-shirt.”•