Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Pop Ups - "Outside Voices"

“Kindie rock” or Indie Rock for kids is a quickly growing scene that applies sophisticated songwriting and an indie rock aesthetic to kid’s music for a less annoying alternative to Barney, Disney and Kidz Bop. Brooklyn’s The Pop Ups are the kindie project of Jason Rabinowitz of indie-pop band the Bloodsugars with Jacob Stein. Their vivid 10-song debut Outside Voices was self-released earlier this year and covers many musical genres including reggae, R&B, and everything in between with lyrical subjects both humorous and educational, all while refraining from the pastiche usually attributed to kid’s music.

“Outside Voices”, the title track opens the album with soaring Arcade Fire-like guitars and a loud/quiet dynamic for a great live sing along. “Subway Train” is a super-catchy electro-pop song with fun animal noises that both you and your children will be imitating. Standout track “Balloon” is a faithful reggae romp with breezy horns and lyrics about the loss of a balloon. “Apes In Capes” is a clever song about each person drawing a shape to form an ape set to a 80’s soft rock soundtrack. Another standout is “F & G” with it’s minimalist pop and lyrics touting all of the great things in life that start with the letters F and G. The bouncing disco beat of “Big Wheel” is nostalgic musically and lyrically, taking me back to the days we used to race our big wheels down the road until we wore holes into the plastic tires. “I’m Tired” is gentle, dreamy and hypnotic with excellent folky vocal harmonies. The funky “Pasta” invokes James Brown strutting around Olive Garden complete with horns singing about all the different kinds of pasta. And actually at the end of July, the band played a set of shows in L.A. with puppets for “PASTA! A Pop Ups Puppet Musical” and they plan on touring with their unique concert experience throughout the coming year. The album closes with guest vocals from scene vets Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer on “Up And Down” and the fun, swinging “Airband” which is made to get the kids in the audience moving.

If you have children, Outside Voices is definitely recommended but even if you don’t have kids, it is still a captivating and fun listen for anyone. Jason’s perfect pop-sense translates well from his everyday band the Bloodsugars to the Pop Ups.

Download Outside Voices here:

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Stream Outside Voices here:

<a href="">Outside Inside by The Pop Ups</a>


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