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SHORTSTRAW has released the third single from their new collective, THOSE MEDDLING KIDS. The song is entitled KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY and is released together with its individual artwork and music video, both done by new members of TMK.

KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY was written once TMK had been formalised as a concept. It was born like many other SHORTSTRAW songs, out of guitar strumming by Tom in a jam session. From there, the band fleshed it out, all the while getting bits and pieces of Alastair’s lyrics bringing the song together and setting the tone.

SHORTSTRAW has always maintained a critical thinking and serious consciousness throughout their career thus far with songs like Shaved, Good Winter, and Cold Shoulder. And KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY fit amongst those. It contains a newly found energy and freedom to write and release a mixed bag of material they’re deeply passionate and excited about. They describe this month’s release as one of the biggest sounding songs they might have ever recorded as a band.

The chorus lyrics are inspired by Alastair’s partner Dan, who unfortunately grew up knowing very little about her father, other than the fact that he is Chilean and now lives somewhere in Chile. He gives a call out to this man, letting him know that he’s looking to start a family tree of his own, and is wanting his daughter to be a part of it.

“The song became a strong and bold message about family, the relationship with your parents, and the start of thinking about a family of your own.”



Meagan is the first choreographer to join the TMK collective, and she choreographed the dance routine for the dancers in KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY:

“Choreographing this music video was an immensely rewarding and enjoyable experience. I was given the brief of choreographing a solo, to be performed separately by two dancers, Megan Gottscho and Andrea van der Kuil, to the song Keep It In The Family. They were to dance in tutus and ballet shoes. Here I was met with a juxtaposition of ballet and a style of music not typically paired with it. This peculiar pairing resulted in choreography that hoped to be interesting, weird and beautiful all at once.”


Megan and Andy are the two dancers that feature in the music video for KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY.

The video was produced in a similar fashion to previous SHORTSTRAW videos, with Alastair responsible for the concept, directing and editing, and with Tom behind the camera. Owners of the creative agency The Fort, which is based in Rivonia, loved the idea of the collective and collaborating with bands to have them use their internal studio space called Drawbridge Studios, and the video was shot there over the course of one day.

“The video grew to become this condensed glimpse into exactly where each of us members are in our lives. So as opposed to being together in one performance, which is how we’re always seen on stage, here we are individualised, so that attention can be given to each member. So we all dug out early footage of ourselves as a way to show where we came from, and then brought our fathers into the shoot, to symbolise where we are headed, as we found we’re all looking more and more like them as we get older.”


Based in Johannesburg, Peter is the artist behind the cover for KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY.

Also one of the TMK squad, is NICK HAMMAN, longtime friend and supporter of SHORTSTRAW. Nick is the host of a morning show on 5FM, one of South Africa’s biggest commercial radio stations. He has very kindly given SHORTSTRAW some needle time on the first Friday of every month to debut and talk about each single as they are released. As their media partner, and good chommie who supports local music, he undoubtedly deserves to be a Meddling Kid.

Listen to the latest SHORSTRAW single from the TMK Collective every first Friday of every month at 8h20AM on Nick Hamman’s show on 5FM.

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