Formed in Tallahassee, Florida, alternative rock band Pool Kids began life as a duo comprised of Christine Goodwyne (vocals and guitar) and Caden Clinton (drums). While Tallahassee, Florida may not be known for being a music industry mecca, it has been the birthplace of many influential artists. Soft rocker Lobo (you know, the 1970s singer/songwriter that sounded like a one-man Bread) was born in Tallahassee, while Jazz legend Cannonball Adderley was born in Tampa but grew up in Tallahassee. In fact, Cannonball and his brother Nat played in Ray Charles’ band when Ray was living in – you guessed it – Tallahassee! However, we can’t forget Rap/Hip-Hop icon T-Pain or Post-Grunge rockers Creed, both of whom hail from that fine city. Funk legend George Clinton (Funkadelic / Parliament) currently resides in Tallahassee! While those acts are just the tip of the iceberg, Pool Kids can now be added to that impressive list of artists…
Pool Kids released their debut album, MUSIC TO PRACTICE SAFE SEX TO, in 2018. Although guitar and drum duos were popular in Alt-Rock circles (The White Stripes, The Black Keys), Pool Kids members Christine and Caden decided to expand their sound and become a quartet. Enter Nicolette Alvarez (bass) and Andy Anaya (guitar) and Pool Kids’ line-up was complete. The group began to build an even bigger following, touring with bands like The Wonder Years and Into It Over It. While the group’s first album was written by Christine and Caden, they warmly welcomed their two new members to contribute to new material for what was to become their sophomore album. With more than enough new material, the band traveled to Seattle, Washington in order to work with producer Mike Vernon Davis, who helped to bring the band’s sound to a new level.
With 2022’s self-titled second album, Pool Kids have avoided the so-called ‘sophomore slump’ and created an album that aims for the stars and succeeds in spades. Mixing Emo, Math Rock, Alt-Rock, and Pop, POOL KIDS is an album that looks back at their influences while also looking excitedly towards the future. You can hear shades of the bands that influenced them, but the album isn’t dragged down by sounding or feeling retro. The lyrics may not address particularly joyful subjects, but the band sounds like they were having a blast, creating sonic landscapes filled with unexpected changes and dynamics. Tracks like “That’s Physics, Baby,” “Conscious Uncoupling,” “I Hope You’re Right,” and “Almost Always Better (Almost Always Worse)” are standouts, but POOL KIDS is an album filled with many gems.