Recess Monkey is back! This kid friendly Seattle, WA based trio of teachers has released yet another album that both kids and adults will enjoy. Its mix of sounds and equally fun and funny songs are sure to get younger listeners moving and parents tapping their feet. One part Jack Johnson and one part Presidents of the United States, the band’s new album is a good introduction to the band for any first time listeners. This time out, the band—Drew Holloway (guitar, vocals), Jack Forman (bass, keys), and Korum Bischoff (drums)—presents audiences with fifteen tracks of seaworthy silliness and some more serious subjects handled in a wonderfully family friendly fashion. Having listened through this whole record, it stands out as one of the year’s best children’s albums.
Deep Sea Diver, the newest album from Recess Monkey, opens with the silly song, ‘Tambourine Submarine.’ While it may not be entirely intentional, this song is sure to conjure up instant comparisons to The Beatles’ famed ‘Yellow Submarine’ as well as certain compositions by Jack Johnson with its poppy grooves. Younger listeners likely won’t get the references. But the silly lyrics combined with the up-tempo music make together, for a solid opener to this album. Holloway and his band mates sing on this song, “Hear the jingle jangle beat/That gets the big propeller spinning around/The periscope’s up. We’re looking for a crew/Could it be you/To dance around to the sound/Down, down, down we’ll go/To move and shake/And make some waves/On the ocean floor below.” It’s just a fun, happy song that will, as the lyrics note, get young listeners to dance around and have a fun time. Those same young listeners will have just as much throughout the course of the album’s tracks, including what is sure to be a hit with both parents and kids alike in ‘The Deep End.’
‘The Deep End’ is a fun, beachy tune about a family trip to the pool. Though its tropical vibe mixed with the topic of swimming is sure to invoke images more of a family beach trip than to the pool. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. Considering this combination of sound and images, one could close one’s eyes and see images of a pool with palm trees rising around as the sun shines overhead. This is one of those songs that simply shout music video. Parents will especially appreciate ‘The Deep End’ because of its horn section. The backing horn section plays a rhythm that sounds oddly like a certain 80s tune titled, ‘I’m Walking on Sunshine.’ Keeping this in mind, this song is another hit both for kids and parents. Kids will enjoy the tropical rhythms and the lyrical expression of a child’s excitement over going swimming on his or her own early on. Parents will enjoy it for the tropical rhythms and for the nostalgia generated by the horns. And of course, as fun as this song is, it’s a wonderful candidate for a music video. All of this combined proves even more what makes Deep Sea Diver such an enjoyable album.
Deep Sea Diver boasts loads of fun, beachy and summer themed songs throughout the course of its fifteen songs. For all the fun songs included in the album, Recess Monkey also touches on more serious issues without being too serious in a handful of songs. One of the most notable of those songs is ‘Shrimp.’ This funky song touches on the ever growing epidemic of bullying in our country through the concept of kids picking on other kids for their height. This may seem a trivial issue. But for children it is a very serious topic. In an age when words really can hurt, kids need to be able to express themselves. And they need encouragement from adults that it’s okay to be who and how they are. Enter, ‘Shrimp.’ This song offers that reassurance in a fun fashion that even parents will appreciate. Hollway and company do a little “rap” session here, writing, “Don’t look in the mirror/And wish you grew/Gotta love everything you see about you/Instead of staying home/Crying boo hoo/Start thinkin’ ‘ bout the things/Only you can do.” This verse alone exemplifies everything that children need from adults. It is that encouragement. From here Holloway goes on to describe the things that smaller people can do such as: not worrying about hitting one’s head on the trees in the forest, or on a funnier note, not having to eat much to be full and thus being able to get to dessert quicker. Now, who wouldn’t love that?! Who doesn’t love dessert? Exactly! There’s also mention of smaller individuals being able to get into tighter spaces that taller people wouldn’t stand a chance of getting into and so much more. In short, this whole song is all the inspiration that young people need even if only in this one area. And what starts as a tiny bulb can grow into a giant tree. Confused yet? Simply put this one song could be the seed to having great confidence later, no matter what bullies may try to do to knock one down. So kudos are in order in the biggest way, to Recess Monkey for including this song on the band’s new album. It’s one more of so many songs that parents and kids will love to listen to again and again when the album drops on Tuesday, June 18th.
While families await the release of this enjoyable album, they can also check out the guys live. A handful of performances around Washington state have been posted to the band’s main website, http://www.recessmonkey.com. The first of those dates is a duo show with Jack and Drew at the Everett Family Fun Fair next Saturday, May 4th at 1pm. Fans can check out the full list of performances and all the latest Recess Monkey tour dates and news on the band’s website as well as the band’s official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/recessmonkeytown and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/recess_monkey. And to download the band’s music—including its upcoming release—fans can get to it via iTunes at http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/recess-monkey/id434955671.
To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.