Tucked away this past winter out of the spotlight, Good Kids Sprouting Horns was honing the show that will blow up on the Space stage Friday night. Adding intrigue to a promising night is the fact that the indie darlings will be releasing their new full-length record “We Are Animals” with bigger, brasher songs truer to their live sound.

Anthony Bitetti, Jessamy Luthin and Ryan Higgins, with the help of their good friends at [dog]and[pony], have a couple of tricks up their sleeve for the slate of release shows and an upcoming set at the Arootsakoostik festival. But what comes across strongest from the humble crew is their eagerness to reconnect with fans, listeners and their close-knit community.

After reading my interview with Bitetti, check out what’s been incubating all winter in the fine musical brains of Good Kids Sprouting Horns this Friday.

What’s the derivation of this strange band name of yours?

I tend to compile lists of possible band names from lyrics of songs that I truly enjoy, and this one comes from an Andrew Bird song. During the song “Opposite Day,” there is the line “and youthful indiscretion now is suddenly the norm, with the good kids sprouting horns,” and it seemed to fit what I was doing at the time. “Opposite Day” has always been one of my favorite songs, on one of my favorite records, and the rest of the band agreed that it sounded good.

So you’re finally ready to drop “We Are Animals.” What are your expectations for this record?

I’m trying not to have too many expectations, because I don’t want to be disappointed by reality not quite living up to them. I do think we will see a bigger response than we did for “Give Up the Ghost” because we had offered GUTG for free download months before we released it on [dog]and[pony], so a lot of people already had it. We have been keeping this one pretty quiet to try and curb that effect, but we will find out (this) week.

How does “We Are Animals” compare to “Give Up the Ghost?”

“We Are Animals” is more aggressive and representative of our live sound. The first record was recorded with acoustic guitars, random percussion and toy keyboards, mostly by myself. This record (although a lot of it was done by me) was more of a group effort. The songs weren’t developed in recording software, but in the open air, and I think the overall energy of the record shows that. Since we started playing shows, we have heard a lot of comments about “Give Up the Ghost” not living up to the live performance, and we really wanted to put a stop to those reactions with “We Are Animals.”

What will the scene be like at Arootsakoostik, which happens in New Sweden, Maine, in July?

Arootsakoostik is going to be a lot of fun this year. We came into possession of this old pump organ over the winter and decided to set up a show based around it. With a little help from some friends (Tim Berrigan and Mike Powers of Great Western Plain), we are going to be a five-piece with gypsy percussion, banjo, acoustic guitar, bass and pump organ. We plan on reworking a handful of songs, writing a couple of new ones and recording the whole endeavor to be released as “EPTHREE” at the festival.

Which other acts in town inspire you most?

My favorite Portland band is probably Metal Feathers or Marie Stella. I am also super excited for the new Huak. As for inspiration, I’m not sure. It’s hard for me to pinpoint exactly what inspires me in my songwriting or performance. I think as a band we take in a diverse amount of influences, force them through a sieve and see what ends up in the bowl. We have a very good lineup for both record-release shows (at Space on Friday and at The Oak and the Ax in Biddeford on Saturday), and though I can’t wait to see Wes Hartley and Marie Stella, I am very excited to see Theodore Treehouse and The Milkman’s Union because I have missed all previous opportunities.

What’s your favorite room to play in the state?

If it was six months ago I would have told you Roots and Tendrils, but with their unfortunate closure, I’ll have to say The Oak and the Ax. We haven’t personally played there before, but I have seen a handful of shows, and every time I fall a little more in love with the room (and the people). Sadly, though, we haven’t played all the places in town we would like; namely we have missed a couple of chances to play the Apohadion, which I hear good things about. Hopefully this next year will bring more opportunities our way.

Who’s your dream collaborator?

Unrealistically, my dream would be John Darnielle. I have always felt confident in my ability to make music, but I am very self-conscious about my lyrical ability, and Mr. Darnielle has a way with words that I would truly love to exploit and maybe even learn a thing or two about in the process.

Realistically, my dream would be starting a band with myself on guitar, Jason Unterreiner (Wood Burning Cat) on bass, Mike Cunnane (The RattleSnakes, Huak, Sunset Hearts) on drums and Jakob Battick on vocals. A really loud, abrasive, noisy, mathematical mess.

Mike Olcott is a Portland-based freelance writer.