Kids music has seen a bunch of collaborations recently as kindie artists recognize strength in numbers, but most of those collaborations have been one-off pairings. Supergroup side projects? Not so much.
So for a couple guys obsessed with pop radio sounds of 25+ years ago, Todd McHatton and Morgan Taylor are pretty forward-thinking as their pairing Underbirds marks what might be the first kindie supergroup built for the long haul.
Of course, "kindie supergroup" implies the music on their self-titled debut is music recorded specifically for kids, and there are times when that's not entirely clear. Sure, songs like "Brilliance," whose narrator has clearly just mastered some talent, or "Here Comes My Friend," can be easily heard as kid-focused. But few of these pop gems sound like they were crafted with your local 5-year-old front-of-mind. Rather, they're songs about friendship and daring and love and (especially) nature that happen to be kid-friendly. If you gave this disk to your friend who has kept his or copy of Matthew Sweet's Girlfriend ever since college [raises hand] and just said they'd probably enjoy this new album, they'd enjoy it free of the cultural baggage that comes with being an adult enjoying "kids music."
At barely 25 minutes long, Underbirds is barely more than an EP, but it's filled with songs accessible to the entire family; it's probably most appropriate for kids ages 5 and up, lyrically. (Listen to "Brilliance" here.) Whether your kids are 4 or 14 (or you're a kid-at-heart 34-year-old), the pop-lover within you will find something to adore. Here's hoping partnerships like Todd and Morgan's last. Definitely recommended.