Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pop! #13: Gwen Gladeyes - Lullabye

When I first contacted Auckland, New Zealand duo The Gladeyes about The Pop! For Kids Project a year ago, I quickly learned the band was soon going to go on hiatus, because Jade would move far far away to Sweden. Thankfully, Gwen then decided to try to record something on her own, and today you can be witness of how well she succeeded! Lullabye is a lovely, dreamy song about the magic of dreaming, and about how everything is possible in your dreams. And if you dream hard enough, in real life too, of course.

The Gladeyes' discography is filled with gems like this. You can buy their two albums from their bandcamp (from where you can also download a lot of free songs) or at Lil' Chief Records. The future of The Gladeyes seems somewhat uncertain, but if Gwen can make such pretty music all by herself, I don't think we need to really worry.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pop! #12: Sweater Girls - I'm a little dinosaur

Jackie! Joey! Diana! Tatiana! Cary! They're not all girls, but they're all Sweater Girls. They're a sparkly indiepop band from Los Angeles, California, who make jangly guitar songs influenced by, they say, "friendships, loneliness and laughter."

So far, the 'Girls' have released two 7" singles and one split cassette on Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records, and I've loved their sound since the very first time I heard their debut 'Do the sweater' one and a half years ago. Fresh from their facebook page comes the exciting news that they've just finished recording their debut full length which we can expect this year.

Especially for The Pop! For Kids Project the band recorded a lovely and warmly sincere cover of the great Jonathan Richman classic 'I'm a little dinosaur', which I haven't been able to stop playing since they sent it to me. I'm quite certain you (and your kids) will love it too!

You can buy Sweater Girls' records here.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pop! #11: When Nalda Became Punk - Truffaut, the dog

When Nalda Became Punk are a lo-fi punky popgroup from Vigo, Spain. The band started out as a solo project for Elena Sestelo, but earlier this year she was joined by Roberto Cibeira and José Oliveira. This summer the trio released their debut single (theme song When Nalda Became Punk) as a 7" on Pebble Records. Earlier, WNBP released a couple of lof-fi demo's to the internet, which can be heard on the band's myspace, bandcamp or soundcloud. Mix the sounds of their listed influences like Heavenly, Clap your hands say yeah!, Helen Love and Belle & Sebastian and add a charming Spanish accent, and you should get a pretty good idea of what to expect from this band.

Their lovely song contribution to TP!FKP is Truffaut, the dog, a sweet but edgy (and catchy!) song about Elena's own cool sausage dog. It's obviously a song born out of friendship, but also with the knowledge of the dog's nature mixed in. "You wag your tail / But you always wag your tail." It's been claimed that, small and cute as they are, sausage dogs are perhaps the most aggressive dogs around. When Nalda Became Punk know it too: "You use your eyes to look kind /But it doesn´t work when you bite."

Elena was so kind to provide the complete lyrics and lovely, specially made cover art for the song, both of which you can download below.

You can still buy the When Nalda Became Punk 7" here.

[MP3] [cover] [lyrics]

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pop! Classic #6

I've always had a big soft spot for The Smittens from Burlington, Vermont, and I think a video like this one should make it clear why. They're sweet and fun, and most often very child friendly too. A long, long time ago (well, two years) I interviewed this band on my other blog, so if you're interested after watching this, go check it out.

This quote from that interview says a lot, I think: "Sometimes we will all be in the same room with whomever's singing or playing and we remind each other to sing with a love thought in our hearts - kind of like answering the telephone with a smile - to get the most sweet feeling into each track."

Libraries, books, cats and kids! What's not to like?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pop! #10: World Of Fox - Pure imagination

World Of Fox is Simon Fox from Birmingham, England. Simon usually makes lovely, mostly acoustic music as Fox, World Of Fox, Lonesome Fox, and other fox monikers. In the past, he sometimes also used to be a bit louder as a member of the band Grover. For The Pop! For Kids Project, World Of Fox recorded a wonderful version of the classic Pure imagination, originally sung by actor Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka in the movie Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. Pure imagination is a magical song with a beautiful melody written by Leslie Briscusse and delightful lyrics by Anthony Newley. World Of Fox takes this beauty and turns it into something intimately his own, a great new perspective on such a well loved tune. I can only say: very well done!

World Of Fox released two albums, Respect and Jeane, simultaneously on the last day of last year on the Where It's At Is Where You Are label. You can stream all Simon's releases on his website, and download some for free as well.

This weekend Simon will be playing at the Indietracks festival on Saturday afternoon in the church.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

5+1=6 questions for... Zipper

It's been a couple of months since I've posted the song contributed to TP!FKP by Spanish band Zipper. Now Maria and David are back with their answers to '5+1=6 questions for...'

The Pop! For Kids Project: Hello Zipper, nice to have you back here! What have you been up to recently?

Maria & David: In 2010 we've released three singles: a CD-single in Glasgow for Bubblegum Records, a 7" vinyl in Miami for Cloudberry Records and another 7" vinyl in Madrid for Elefant Records. The three of them have different and new songs, though Last chance and Lunes por la mañana have the same music but different lyrics (in English and Spanish, but different meanings). This year we've played at the first Madrid Popfest and we're going to play at the Indietracks festival, at the Contempopranea festival (Spain) and at the Glasgow Popfest.

TP!FKP: What are your earliest musical memories?

M: I remember having sung all my life. I loved and knew all the typical children songs and my mother says that I used to sing a lot when I was little. I attended piano lessons when I was around 4-5 in a house where the family owned a little monkey. The monkey is the only thing I remember from my piano lessons (I moved from that town and my parents didn't sign me in any other accademy...). I was very good at flute in school because I really loved music and I used to have the little casio keyboads everywhere at home (the one with the lights that you had to follow was my favourite). Then, when I was fourteen, I learnt how to play the guitar and formed a band with some girls at school where I changed into the bass guitar player because I had a bass at home from my sister. Finally, at the university, I met David and Oscar and decided to form Zipper.

D: I had an older brother who showed me Spanish 80's bands. He's 14 years older so I was influenced by his bands and he also had a band so, when I was around 6 or 7 I started taking his guitar and learnt how to play it. I knew Oscar from the high-school and then, at the university he presented me to Maria and another girl and started Zipper.

TP!FKP: Do you think good music is important for young children?

D+M: Definitively yes!! I think it makes you more imaginitive, sensitive and happier. I think children who sing (although they may not sing well) are happier than the ones who don't.

TP!FKP: What's the best bit about being a musician?

M: You can express youself. For example, I'm very shy and the only place where I don't feel so shy is when I sing, I feel more confident.

D: It feels good when someone tells you that they like your music.

TP!FKP: Do you have any favourite children's songs?

D+M: When we were little, we grew up with the Spanish bands Parchis and Enrique y Ana. I think they were the best. I can't think of any like them nowadays. They were also children and they sang about typical children themes, funny, easy to learn, easy to sing...

TP!FKP: The song you contributed, Tamagotchi, is a live recording. Do you think we'll ever see the song released as a studio recording?

M: Tamagotchi is one of our first songs, probably from 1996. I've loved it since David wrote it, but we've stop playing it 5 or 6 years ago. It's not very likely that we'll record it again, though I might convince David to start playing it again and perhaps, we change our minds. But I don't think it may be in a close future...

TP!FKP: Thanks Zipper!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pop! #9: Liechtenstein - How much is that doggie in the window

Liechtenstein from Sweden have been spoiling us with perfect popsongs since 2007. Most recent example is the lovely new single, Meantime. Especially for this project the girls recorded an absolutely wonderful version of the classic How much is that doggie in the window. The song was written by Bob Merill in 1952, and made famous by Patti Page and Lita Roza in the following year. Almost 60 years later, Liechtenstein manage to keep all the charm of those famous recordings but add their own little magic to it, effortlessly owning the song from start to finish.

An interview I did with Liechtenstein in 2008 is still online on my other blog, for those of you who want to find out more about this great band. (Since the interview, Ulrika has taken Naemi's place on the bass.)

You can buy Liechtenstein's records from here and here.