Round 2. Continuing on with my favorite albums of 2014, the ones I keep returning to again and again. Of course, your mileage may vary. But for now, you’re riding shotgun. So sit back, relax, and let’s round ’em up.
Walter Martin – We’re All Young Together
Ostensibly a children’s album (but in the same way that Harry Potter is ostensibly a children’s book) about animals and innocence. Martin makes it mellow, imaginative, and magical.
Apropos of nothing, I once stood ten feet away from Walter Martin as he played organ for critical darlings Jonathan Fire*Eater at a concert 17 years ago. 60% of that band (including Martin) went on to form critical darlings The Walkmen. This is his first solo album — the first of many, one hopes.
Pharrell has utterly dominated radio for the past few years, as both a solo artist and a guest vocalist. “Get Lucky,” “Blurred Lines,” “Happy,” blah, blah, blah —
I got ants in my pants and I need to dance!!
A couple of months ago, I challenged New Zealand to step up their game in the face of two excellent albums from groups representing their neighbors to the west, that mass of sass known as Australia. Well, the Kiwis didn’t take my challenge lying down. Instead, they picked up the gauntlet and slapped me in the face with this album of simple beauty by the dreamy duo known as French For Rabbits.
They’re sort of in a folky vein, but I’m going to dub their style haunt-pop, because I need an exorcist to get it out of my brain.
“We like the zoo ’cause we’re animals too” – pretty sure I’ll be singing that line in my head for the next few days. His voice in the second song reminds me of Beck. “Children’s” music has come a long way since the Sharon, Lois & Bram craze of my childhood. (Not that Sharon, Lois & Bram weren’t awesome.)
Martin’s songs have been stuck in my head all year. I try hard not to make this blog too Beatle-centric, so I didn’t post the following song (but I’ll post it now): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kb4-eVxpPwI
BTW, I’d never heard of Sharon, Lois & Bram…but I spent about 30 minutes yesterday watching videos of them singing. My daughter enjoyed all the elephant appearances.
I hear you – I have to make the same effort with my own blog. How much fun does Martin and his band look like they’re having in that video?! Wonder how many kids they’ve directed to The Beatles.
I wasn’t sure whether Sharon, Lois & Bram were known south of the border (or outside of Ontario, for that matter). Did you and your daughter come across the classic “Skinnamarink”? Oh, nostalgia.